A sold-out audience of over 130 students and faculty filled the AC Hub on Jan. 31, as Jordan Axani brought his “What’s Your Big Lie?” keynote to Algonquin as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
Best known as the viral sensation who took a stranger on a trip around the world, Axani shared personal stories explaining how he became who he is today. From being bullied as a second grader in rural southern Ontario to feeling validated by his new found fame, he went into great detail about all of the emotions he felt on his journey.
“It felt good,” he said. “It was seductive.”
His celebrity status brought with it feelings of depression, which eventually led to “What’s Your Big Lie?“, touring North America and visiting various educational institutions, businesses and government offices. The purpose of the keynotes is to help people learn how to open up about secrets that they’ve never shared.
Axani detailed how the whole experiment started and blossomed into the phenomenon it is, even playing an audio recording of an audience member sharing a story from the first ever seminar in British Columbia.
In the second half of the event, he asked the audience to take out their phones and anonymously text a confession to a phone number displayed on the screen at the front of the room, with the confessions then being displayed. Following that, a volunteer bravely shared a story.
The event was very well received by students and faculty alike, with many in attendance visibly emotional. The event coincided with Bell Let’s Talk Day, which helps raise awareness and donations for mental health.