Tyler Clementi Foundation co-founder Jane Clementi offered to work with future first lady Melania Trump at the 5th annual Upstander Legacy Celebration on November 14th at the Prince George Ballroom in New York City.
Clementi welcomed Ms. Trump’s call for an end to online bullying of children and teenagers. She said she would be willing to meet with her to discuss how they could work together, but with a caveat.
“I do believe that if she truly would like to move forward on this very worthy initiative” Clementi said “she must first look back and recognize the toxic display of bias, bullying and cruelty of so many marginalized groups by the Trump campaign.” Clementi said mean-spirited and cruel comments had the effect of normalizing bullying in American society. “It is only by acknowledging and apologizing for this past poor behavior in the cyberworld that our new first lady will be able to move forward and have a truly impactful future, creating a safe and respectful online experience for our youth.”
ABC News Correspondent Gio Benitez expertly hosted a program that featured two musical performances. The Tony-nominated actress and singer Kate Baldwin performed the song “Bare.” And actress and singer Bridget Barkan performed her single “Danger Heart.”
The Tyler Clementi Foundation honored three teenage filmmakers from the Mythic Bridge Youth Filmmaking Workshop in New York City. These filmmakers were winners of AT&T’s Cyberbullying Film Invitational at the All American High School Film Festival. The foundation also honored Workplace Options, which has partnered with the foundation to bring a workplace training module to companies nationwide.
At the end of the program Executive Director Sean Kosofsky asked people to be financial upstanders and donate to support the foundation’s programs. There also was a silent auction that included a signed Prince Limited Edition Purple Guitar and a painting by Tyler Wallach. Thousands of dollars were raised to support the Foundation’s programs to end online and offline bullying.
Thanks to singer and songwriter Marcus Goldhaber and his musicians for entertaining attendees while they enjoyed Kim Crawford Wines and SVEDKA Vodka cocktails. The event was made possible by the generous support of Champion Sponsors Barilla America, Inc. and Workplace Options, as well as the support of AT&T and the COIL Foundation.