I asked Lee Fox, founder of KooDooZ to fill me in on the event:
Our format invites 6 youth panelists who have either been bullied; initiated an anti-bullying campaign; or been a bully in the past with hindsight.
In addition to the panelist participation, we have also been video interviewing over 40 kids and have compiled video clips of answers to 5 specific questions about bullying. Moderators asks a question, we run the video clip, the panel discusses. We then invite our live & livestream audiences to ask what's on their minds.
As a TownHall meeting, all concerned citizens and community members are encouraged to join in this conversation. We even suggest organizing sleep-outs and dinner parties from the comfort of your own homes, youth group centers and schools.
YOUTH PANELIST BIOS:
Kylie Morgan, 16yrs
Special guest singer / Song-writer Kylie Morgan dedicated her song, "Phoebe (It Matters What We Do)" to Phoebe Prince who tragically took her life after being bullied by classmates. Kylie is also a key spokesperson for PACER.org and will be performing her music live.
Faith G., 12
Faith moved around a lot after her parents got divorced at the age of 8. Once she settled into a new school, she became bullied because of her red hair and her pigeon toe condition. Sometimes the bullying got so bad, she didn't want to go to school. She found strength in her horse, Smartie and started using horse therapy to cope with the teasing at school.
Maya M., 12
Friends describe Maya as strong. She has to be-she's overcome a lot. Growing up with a mentally ill mother, Maya was abused and put down a lot by her. It got so bad, she contemplated suicide. Maya confided in her dad and began going to therapy. Now Maya uses art as a way to express her feelings.
Malik W. 15yrs
Malik has been on both sides of bullying. He's been bullied and he's also found himself being a bully. Through guidance and leadership programs, Malik was able to pull himself out of the vicious cycle of youth violence.
Alyssa P., 13yrs
Alyssa is often seen talking with people who seem lonely and is a valued member of the Bully Prevention Club at her school. Additionally she was selected as one of the finalists in this year’s TEEN TRUTH Film Festival for her video, “STAND”.
Tyler Page, 14yrs
Tyler asked youth in his leadership academy, Kids Helping Kids to adopt Rachel's Challenge, a bullying and violence abatement program after he experienced bullying abuse.
Funny. We often talk about bullying but we don't ask the kids directly, so by the time we offer advice, it's already out of touch. I encourage everyone who is interested in the subject of bullying to watch the livestream and if you have middle and or high school kids, watch with them. (And tell your school and/or youth group.) It's a great time to get their perspective. Invaluable!