The “I Exist” movement was started by an international student at East Carolina University in NC, USA. After a student death on campus, she protested outside in the rain for 7 hours towards the community for not acknowledging the importance of mental health and the wellbeing of every individual. Due to the protest and death, the student newspaper and Channel 12 news came to report the event. After the attention, many students became interested in the movement.
It was kept as a MOVEMENT not as an organization due to it being accessible to everyone and not to a specific group. The Free Hug campaign was used to reach out to the college campus and to start spreading the word of “I Exist”. Continually, organizations at the school campus started to participate and team together for a common purpose. It further reached to people all over the world who wanted to participate.
This movement recognizes the importance of Human Rights and the individual:
- Awareness of self, community and mental health
- Topics can include: Feminism, LGBT, Black Lives Matter, Immigration, Racism, Religion, Disabilities, Mental Health, Ageism etc.
- Any group of people who are being discriminated against or ignored
- Trying to create connection between every human being from within us to the world
To spread the movement in you area, there are many ways that it cannot be achieved through your vision as a pioneer:
- Social Media: Pictures of “I Exist” shirts and posters, captions of personal stories Hashtag #iexist, Twitter, FB, Instagram, Snapchat etc
- Free Hugs Campaigns
- Peaceful Protests against current situations
- Reaching out to organizations, clubs, venues spreading the word
- Participating in Women’s March, LGBT Pride, BLM March, promoting “I Exist”
- Artwork such as “I Exist” posters put on public settings