Aditya Birla Education Trust set to launch 3rd edition of ‘Be The Change’ conference on ‘Inclusion of Gender and Sexual Diversity’

New Delhi: Continuing the conversations around mental health on a national level, Aditya Birla Education Trust is set to launch the 3rd edition of their annual ‘Be The Change’ conference which will be held virtually on November 12th, 2021 from 5 PM to 7 PM. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Inclusion of Gender and Sexual Diversity’.

The conference will comprise keynote speeches by Mrs. Neerja Birla Founder & Chairperson, Aditya Birla Education Trust, Shekhar Saxena, Former Director of Mental Health and Substance Use (WHO) and Professor (Harvard, TH Chan), Apurva Asrani, Film Editor and Screenwriter, Aspen Leadership Program Fellow and LGBTQ Rights Advocate, Dia Bhojwani, Student and Author of ‘The Pandemic Diaries’, Anju Kish, Author Certified Sexuality Educator & Founder of UnTaboo, Rahul Bose, Actor, Director, Activist & Founder of NGOs HEAL and The Foundation, and Nathan Spiteri, Activist, Author and Global Ambassador for the Child Liberation Foundation. The insightful discussion will be moderated by Dr. Zirak Marker, Sr. Child, Adolescent & Family Psychiatrist, Advisor – Mpower & Medical Director – Aditya Birla Integrated School.

Over the course of the conference, the session on ‘Love is love is love’, by Apurva Asrani will address living with freedom in Indian society, while ‘Growing Up With Diversity’ by Dia Bhojwani will explore sexual and gender identity from her personal lens. Further delving into the conversation, Anju Kish will talk about inclusion, safety & school mental health in ‘Sex is not just a 4 – Letter Word’. In a bid to bust myths, Rahul Bose is set to talk about unpacking gender stereotypes in his talk ‘Boys Don’t Cry and Girls Like Pink’. The conference will also hear from Nathan Spiteri in the session ‘Toy Cars’ which will address about surviving sexual abuse.

Speaking about the 3rd edition of ‘Be The Change’ conference, Mrs. Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson, Aditya Birla Education Trust said, “India is in dire need for an agenda on gender inclusion in the long-term quest for societal change. The reason to start this conversation through ‘Be the Change’ annual conference is to address systemic problems faced by people pertaining to patriarchy and gender, and to support those who choose to stay and thrive as a part of these communities. Since politics itself cannot change India’s social fabric, we should focus on gender-inclusion policies that create safe spaces and communities on campuses. This should begin with infrastructural and mindset changes to address sexual and psychological harassment, support groups, and gender awareness workshops.

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