Beyond Labels: The Story Behind

Written by: Christine Sitambuli

Edited by: Supriya Sivabalan

The Year 2 Communications students organized this campaign in order to shine light on the many people who have been rejected by society for their differences, with the main message being ‘to identify, and not classify’. The event was held at JC 2 hall in Sunway University.

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The event was opened by a beautiful trombone piece played by Professor Dean Bowyer, the dean of the School of Arts. The song played is entitled ‘A wonderful world’ to which he ended by stating “what a wonderful world it would be if we looked beyond the labels we put on people and identify, instead of classify.”

The first speaker was Ms. Giselle Rimong Lidom, a transgender Activist who enlightened us on the many difficulties that the LBGTQ community face. These include rejection from employment as well as housing. She also shared a few stories from her personal life of the names she was called since her childhood days until now as an adult, ending with encouraging us to know a person’s story before we judge them.

Photo from fajar(2)

There are other unspoken but very real controversial topics that are still discussed even in this modern time! Like, should employees be hired if they have tattoos? Should girls go to school or stay at home and look after the house? The Beyond Labels Campaign did not fail to highlight them by showing us a short clip to remind us that a person’s tattoos are their story and that there is no need to classify because we all bleed red.

The speaking sessions were wrapped up by Dr. Elizabeth Lee, who congratulated the students on their successful campaign and in lines of the message of the campaign, she ended by saying we should not be afraid of being different, because if we are different then we are special, and if we are special, then we are precious!

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At the end of the night, awards were rewarded to the honourable guests and a label cutting ceremony was held, to mark the end of classifying and judging because human beings are not products! The event was an incredible success indeed, but we should remember, ‘Identify, not Classify!’.

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