MTV’s Look Different campaign – which aims to give youth the tools and the forum to discuss hidden racial, gender and LGBT inequality in society – today launched their new #GoodLook panel to answer your questions as part of the Look Different advice column and discuss bias in our world.
MTV also launched the Look Different Challenge, the opportunity for you and your friends to pitch an idea for a digital tool that will help facilitate meaningful conversations about bias and the winning idea will take home $10,000!
The Good Look Panel lineup includes several out LGBT advocates including The Real World‘s Ari Fitz and Preston Charles, Girl Code‘s Quinn Marcus and spoken word artist Alok Vaid-Menon. Mark Erwin, Director of Community at the Ruth Ellis Center working to end LGBT youth homelessness, and Jack Antonoff, member of rock bands fun. and Bleachers and co-founder of The Ally Coalition, will also be part of the Good Look Panel. Have a question for the panelists? You can drop a message in the Look Different Tumblr page’s ask box, send a tweet to @LookDifferent or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Growing up in a conservative (read: white, straight, and religious) town in Texas I learned early on how there’s nothing really micro about an aggression,” said Vaid-Menon, who previously spoke with ABC News about the significance of Facebook’s custom gender field options. “I’m excited to work with this project because I believe in the power of having honest conversations about the violence we’ve experienced, the differences we’ve inherited, and our dreams of a more just future.”
“Bias exists. It’s present in our relationships, in our humor, in our intention and so on. It’s up to us to acknowledge it and catch it. It’s up to us to be vulnerable enough to correct ourselves,” Fitz said as she addressed her time on The Real World.
“When I was growing up gay and in the closet in Georgia, I couldn’t speak about my sexuality and all the questions and fears that come with it. I’ve come a long way and am now very confident in my sexuality and speak about it all the time (especially on TV),” joked Marcus. “Now, I can hopefully help other people who are still suffering or just have questions. And even if you’re not gay, you can still have questions about it. As open and aware as our generation is, I think it’s okay to ask questions and know that more can be done to make our world more equal. I’m honored and excited to be a part of the conversation.”
MTV also wants to challenge young people to submit creative ideas for a digital space that will allow their peers to safely share stories of bias they’ve faced and bias in pop culture and the news. Applicants between 16 and 29 can (individually or in teams of up to five people) submit their creative ideas through September 29 and the winner will take home $10,000 and have a chance to work with MTV to see their idea brought to life! Find out more and get the official rules at the Look Different website.