If you haven experienced a health issue or social issue such as having a disability, mental illness, homelessness, you claim benefits, come from outside a community, or have been overweight, then you've probably experienced social stigma, and have been judged, or even abused by others. You might have been denied access to a service, opportunity, or even benefits, or you might have been shunned by others, ignored, insulted, ridiculed, or in some way attacked or dehumanized. Usually these experiences have led to a violation of trust and diminished your feelings of self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth.
What is reverse participation?
One of the principle reasons Qultura was set up was to challenge social stigma and provide additional support and opportunities for people who are affected by the judgmental attitudes and bigotry of others. Qultura rejects the 19th century social Darwinist consensus promoted by both mainstream political parties and social hierarchy that so many have been conditioned to believe is real. While we accept that some people have found ways to overcome the stigma from others and the Government, many have not and continued to be denied access to opportunities and even basic services such as housing, education, employment, and benefits because they are seen as 'lesser' or have less social value or worth than others. Reverse participation is where you get support to ovgercome the stigma.
Human sovereignty is the basis for equality
There is nothing artificial or Man-made about human rights or equality. This is how Nature and the universe works in reality. Your human rights and equality lie in your human sovereignty, the fact that you have been born and have a mother and the primary objective of the State is to protect those human rights, providing you with a safe environment in which to live and equal access to opportunities. It doesn't matter whether or not you are black or white, what your gender or sex is, whether or not you have a disability, who you choose to have relationships with, or the social or material status of your parents, you are a complete, sovereign human being and have a human right to dignity, personal autonomy and the right to participate in your community and society on equal footing to everyone else.
The social standard is whether you can breathe, not whether you work
People, and among them politicians and civil servants need to think about this and decide where they really stand on the issue of human rights. This is a straightforward, binary, either or choice - you either stand for human rights and empowerment of the human individual, or you stand for authoritarianism and for State control over the individual human being. This means you fall into one of two camps - you either support or stand with those who are being oppressed and support the cause of a more equal society based on respect for human rights and civil liberties or you stand on the side of the oppressors and an authoritarian or totalitarian social model. Our position as an organization is very clear human rights are not conditional.
Getting support to overcome stigma and exclusion
Qultura works to support people who have been affected by social stigma and social exclusion to the point of 'status loss' - i.e. where they have been denied access to opportunities in housing, employment, education, access to public services or benefits through being stigmatized and excluded by others or who have become isolated, marginalized, or excluded by others through such things as shunning, avoidance, being ridiculed, being threatened or verbally or even physically attacked. Quite often being stigmatized or excluded by others can make life much more difficult, and create barriers which can be practical, financial, social, and even emotional or psychological. An increasing number of people have issues with anxiety and depression as a result of being stigmatized, excluded or traumatized by others. If you are such an individual we want to support you in ways in which you can recover and make life easier.
What does reverse participation mean?
If you have direct personal experience of a particular issue such as having a disability, being homeless, long term unemployed, having a mental illness, chances are you have a greater insight and awareness of those issues than other people out in wider society. However one of the reasons why social stigma exists is because of the ignorance and assumptions people make about other people who have such issues and this is because people make their assumptions about others or listen to the mainstream media or politicians and not the people who actually have experienced the issues. As an organization we believe that this is an issue which needs to be changed which is why we are seeking to support and provide a platform for people who have been stigmatized as a result of experiencing an issue, so that they can promote a greater degree of social awareness and understanding and it is this insight or understanding of an issue, from direct personal experience, which would allow you to reverse your participation and use your experience of an issue such as a disability, or homelessness, in ways which can promote wider social and community awareness.
Why are we asking you to sign up?
Stigma and exclusion affects people in unique and highly individual ways. We are not you, we have not lived your life, we do not have your life experience, we do not share your perspective therefore we have no way of knowing or even understanding how you have personally been affected by stigma or being excluded. Nobody else does either. Only you can know how such issues affect you and your life, only you can know what barriers and obstacles you face in life, and the only way we or anyone else can become aware is if you somehow share your experience and perspective. What we are looking to do is to develop Qultura into an organization where anyone who has been affected by stigma and exclusion - being unfairly judged by others - can turn to for support to help them recover and overcome the barriers. This can only happen if people choose to participate, share their experience, and help to raise awareness and promote understanding in other people. We are not you, we cannot speak about you or on your behalf, we can only provide you with a platform and organization where you can feel accepted, not judged, and be able to speak for yourself.
What happens when you sign up?
You become part of the Qultura community and network which is based on mutual support, acceptance of individuality and respect for human rights. On the left you can find access to online support groups which makes it much easier for you to access support and it also helps us to get to know you and how issues make your life more difficult or challenging. Signing up is completely free of charge, there's no memberships, subscriptions, nothing to buy or pay for and we never ever share your details with anyone else without your prior knowledge and consent. Theerfore whatever you share with us is kept strictly confiidential. You are also welcome to sign up to our online support groups on Facebook, MeWe and Groupbox and interact with other people. Additionally if you need additional support you can create appeals to get support from others such as our supporters.