Guest blog post by Tara Chowdhury, RBW Strategy team member
What’s the big idea?
Social media enables rapid sharing of information, ideas, and interests across the globe. Having the world at our fingertips has empowered social justice campaigns like the #MeToo movement. There is also a dark side to social networking, with harassers lurking in the shadows of anonymity online. Over half of teens report having been bullied or harassed online. 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45% report being online “almost constantly.” Moreover, social media technology evolves rapidly, leaving little time to enact safety measures for new platforms. Here, we highlight nonprofits doing their share to help reduce the impact of digital harassment and bullying, promoting kind communication, positivity, and safe interactions online.
Does global volunteerism help or hurt those causes about which donors care so deeply?
Standing up to bullies
Started by two young women at Pepperdine University, Kind Campaign brings awareness and healing to girls who have experienced online bullying. Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson had both been victims of girl-on-girl bullying throughout their youth. They joined forces to produce a documentary, Finding Kind, which is the foundation of their multi-platform movement aiming to transform friendships, classrooms, and communities around the world. The documentary is screened at school assemblies across the country. The Kind Club Curriculum is a 19-week program designed to foster a dialogue about social struggles girls face, empowering them to create change in their community. Kind Campaign’s outreach efforts reach about 300 schools every year, spreading their message across the world.
Stomp Out Bullying
Stomp Out Bullying is a leading nonprofit dedicated to fostering a culture of civility, inclusion and equality, teaching effective ways to reduce and prevent bullying, cyberbullying, and educating against homophobia, LGBTQ discrimination, racism, violence in schools and online. HelpChat Line gives bullied youth an avenue to speak with trained volunteer counselors in a free and confidential online chat. Peer Mentoring Groups in schools work to raise awareness. Stomp Out Bullying promotes several worldwide campaigns such as National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, World Day of Bullying Prevention, and National Culture Week–sparking curiosity among youth about diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences.
What should we learn from this?
Volunteer to help educate and support youth through online forums and at schools.
Spread the word to raise awareness of the issue and end all bullying.
Participate in a campaign and follow them on social media to learn more about anti-bullying communities, and join the conversation!
@kindcampaign @theofficialstompoutbullying #Bullying #Cyberbullying #Diversity #Equality #ChangeTheCulture #StopHate #StopRacism
What are the steps that your organization can take to address the onslaught of cyberbullying?