By Samantha Flores |Staff Writer|
“What’s Your Big Lie?,” developed by Jordan Axani, is a workshop that helps those who “mask” their true identity to be themselves. The workshop fosters a welcoming environment.
“The pain you are feeling now, another person within 50 feet from you might also be going through the same pain,” said Axani.
The event began last year in May of 2016, and has progressed tremendously. Axani said that he did not imagine it to grow so fast. “I thought I was getting lucky,” said Axani.
He shared his experience with the students of CSUSB, which impacted many. One student shared how Axani’s story changed his perspective.
“It made me feel that I was not alone, and how we are all interconnected,” said student Henry Barron.
Axani provided students with an understanding that each of us should not judge one another’s appearance, because one may not know what that person might be going through.
This was an event where one could honestly express themselves, knowing that they were not going to be ridiculed. Instead, have people who will empathetically listen to their story.
In fact, other schools have taken the concept within “What’s Your Big Lie?” and created different activities to help students. The RCMP, part of the Government of Canada, which host extensive youth programs regarding alcohol and drug abuse have also embraced this program.
“Two years from now, I would like there to be five thousand events whether it is online or offline, but we’ll see because we have just built an organization and team in a way to support its growth,” said Axani.
Axani spoke about two apps that have helped him to have a good day. Talkative is through text messages, where one can ask about a problem that they are going through and someone will help.
The other is the Wakie app. Wakie pairs users similar situations and issues for 10 minutes to discuss and relate with one another.
“Using technology as a wedge to be able to open up some vulnerability,” Axani said.
He has not studied to be a counselor or social worker, this aspires him to think about the stories of each person as neutral.
“I love how within an hour people feel safe to express their stories, of being who they are, even if it is one person, to me that is a success,” said Axani.