About the Tyler Clementi Foundation
The Tyler Clementi Foundation is an organization created by the Clementi family which seeks to prevent bullying through inclusion, assertion of dignity and acceptance as a way to honor the memory of Tyler Clementi: a son, a brother and a friend.
In 2010, Tyler’s death became a global news story, highlighting the impact and consequences of bullying while sparking dialogue amongst parents, teachers, and students across the country. The story also linked to broader issues impacting youth and families such as LGBT inequality, safety in schools, youth in crisis, higher education support systems, and cyberbullying.
Not only does the foundation continue to carry the important message about the suicide risk facing many LGBT youth, which can be three to seven times more at risk for suicide than other youth, but The Tyler Clementi Foundation recognises that our message of standing up to bullying speaks universally across all cultures and identities.
Since 2011, The Tyler Clementi Foundation was born out of the urgent need to address these bullying challenges facing vulnerable populations, especially LGBT and other victims of hostile social environments. Through programs such as #Day1, which provides free downloadable toolkits customised for different communities, the foundation encourages leadership in creating safe spaces where individuals are able to stand up to bullying and embrace diversity.
Meet Tyler. His story inspires thousands.
December 19, 1991 – September 22, 2010
Smart, talented and creative: Tyler Clementi was deeply loved by family and friends for his kind heart and bright spirit. At the young age of 18, he became a victim of a horrible act of cyber-harassment and humiliation. His story puts a human face on the consequences of cruelty, which has been faced by millions of others suffering in silence in their schools, colleges, teams, workplaces, or faith communities. Tyler’s story has inspired tens of thousands of youth and adults to be Upstanders in the face of bullying, harassment and humiliation across the globe.
A Passionate Young Man
Tyler could think outside the box.
He grew up with a passion for music. Tyler began playing the violin in the third grade and became an accomplished violinist. He performed in numerous orchestras and was awarded with several accolades for his musical contributions.
Tyler was also an enthusiastic bicyclist and unicyclist.
By combining his knowledge with creativity and talent, he taught himself to play the violin while unicycling! He understood that we all must learn to embrace unique qualities in others and in ourselves.
Another quality Tyler learned to embrace was his young, gay self.
The summer after his high school graduation, Tyler had just begun the important journey of coming out to close family and friends. Tyler was brave and honest about who he was, but this was still a difficult, vulnerable time for him.
In August of 2010, Tyler began studying at Rutgers University where he was excited to learn, grow and have the freedom to live openly as a gay man.
He began playing violin at the institution’s high level orchestra. Only a few weeks into his first semester, Tyler’s musical gifts earned him a seat in an orchestra comprised primarily of upperclassmen and graduate students. Tyler was one of only two incoming freshman who made the graduate school orchestra.
Targeted for humiliation
Within weeks, Tyler became the victim of a horrible act of cyber-harassment, a type of bullying or cruelty that takes place using the internet.
At college, Tyler was immersed in his studies and violin practice. One night, Tyler asked his dorm mate, Dharun Ravi, for some privacy because he had a date. Ravi agreed but what Tyler didn’t know was that Ravi was planning a horrible act of humiliation; he secretly pointed his computer’s webcam at Tyler’s bed, and then left.
During one spying session, Tyler’s roommate captured him in an intimate act and invited others to view it online. Many other students at the university contributed to this invasion of privacy by not standing up to report or stop what was happening to Tyler.
Tyler discovered what his abuser had done. When he viewed his roommate’s Twitter feed, he learned he had widely become a topic of ridicule in this new social environment. He also found out that his roommate was planning a second attempt to broadcast from the webcam.
Several days later, Tyler Clementi ended his life by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. He was eighteen years old.
#Day1 Works by….
- A person in authority leading the pledge
- Clearly stating behavior expectations and responsibilities
- Addressing the issue early (on Day 1!)
- Getting verbal confirmation back
Download your free two-page handout specifically designed for your community by clicking here
#Day1 has worked with many organizations and celebrities sharing our strategy to end bullying! Learn why it works, how it will help your school and how you can get in touch with us to share your Day 1 Stories.