Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion & Acceptance
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) June 30, 2008
Habbo, the largest global virtual community for teens, and the Matthew Shepard Foundation, a non-profit organization promoting understanding, compassion and acceptance among young people, announced today that they have entered into a new relationship in an effort to educate online users about dignity and respect. The Foundation, through its "Erase Hate" project, will host an ongoing series of conversations among users in the Habbo.com InfoBus.
Starting July 7, 2008, the Matthew Shepard Foundation staff will lead discussions twice a week in Habbo.com's InfoBus, which is a virtual room designed as the inside of a high-end bus. Users gather in the InfoBus to discuss issues of concern among young people in a safe environment. Topics will include how to deal with bullying, discrimination and hate experienced on and offline and how to encourage respect among peers.
"The Matthew Shepard Foundation is exceptionally qualified to provide support to our users as they navigate their difficult teen years," said Teemu Huuhtanen, EVP, marketing, ad sales and business development, Sulake Corporation and president, North America, Sulake Inc. "The InfoBus has always been a popular resource for our teen community and we know they will take advantage of this opportunity to share their experiences and learn new tools to foster acceptance and compassion."
The Matthew Shepard Foundation's mission is to support diversity programs in education and to help youth organizations establish environments where young people can feel safe and be themselves.
"It is a mission of the Foundation to support young people and provide them with the resources to lead healthy, productive, hate free lives," said Judy Shepard, executive director, Matthew Shepard Foundation. "Our partnership with Habbo will allow us to have ongoing conversations with young people about what they can do in the fight to replace hate with understanding, compassion, and acceptance."
There are currently Habbo communities in 32 countries on six continents. To date, more than 100 million Habbo characters have been created globally and 9.5 million unique users worldwide visit Habbo each month (source: ComScore).
Habbo is a richly colorful, multi-dimensional virtual community and game environment for teens. Users join by creating a fully customized online character called a Habbo. From there, they can explore many public hang-outs, play a variety of games, connect with friends, decorate their own rooms, and have fun through creativity and self expression. Currently there are Habbo communities in 32 countries on six continents. To date, more than 100 million Habbo characters have been created and 9.5 million unique users worldwide visit Habbo each month (source: ComScore). Online at http://www.habbo.com.
About the Matthew Shepard Foundation:
The Matthew Shepard Foundation was founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime in Wyoming in October 1998. Created to honor Matthew in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs and aspirations, the Foundation seeks to "Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion & Acceptance" through its varied educational, outreach and advocacy programs and by continuing to tell Matthew's story.
For more information, please contact:
Susan C. Mills
Edelman Public Relations, for Habbo
Thomas B. Howard, Jr., Ed.M.
Matthew Shepard Foundation