At the Comic Con Convention, the very first anti-bullying red carpet event and press summit was held on Fifth Avenue at San Diego restaurant, Lou and Mickey’s. Many organizations including the United Nations Association, Anti-Defamation League, NoH8 Campaign, Cartoon Network’s Stop Bullying: Speak Up, Girl Scouts of America, IBPA and GLSEN Team Up at Pop Culture Mecca organized the event along with author Carrie Goldman and former Star Trek, actress Chase Masterson.
Today bullying is a pressing issue we all face, whether our children deal with it at school or whether we ourselves have been faced with it a one time or another. The long-term psychological effects of bullying can be detrimental to people in any walk of life and can put up social and emotional barriers. Carrie Goldman, author of Bullied spoke about the importance of recognizing bullying, how to prevent bullying, and what interventions educators and parents within the community can do eliminate actions of hate. The idea of the book stemmed from Goldman’s daughters’ experiences with bullying which prompted Goldman to advocate for this urgent global issue. For more on Carrie Goldman’s book visit herwebsite.
Lambda Literary nominated author, of Rounding Third, Walter Meyer, was also in attendance at the press summit. Since Meyer’s book, Rounding Third powerfully addresses bullying; Meyer travels the country speaking about the issue. Walter Meyer’s book concentrates on two high school students and their experiences of being tormented through the acts of bullying. When asked about the turnout of the event, Meyer explained, “I thought it was great to bring together so many people from so many different backgrounds coming together to work on the problem. Doing it at Comic-Con offered exposure to the issue and it was gratifying to see how many people came to the panel. With all of the amazing things going on at Comic-Con the fact that so many people would take time to attend the panel gives me hope that people really do care about the problem.” For additional information on Rounding Third, visit Walter Meyer online.
Although there were many authors in attendance, many organizations such as the United Nations Association of San Diego, were also present at the Comic Con press summit. Just recently the UN established a global recognition day to advocate for bullying every May 4th. With small steps, we as a community can recognize that bullying needs to come to an end. Bettina Hausmann, president of the United Nations chapter of San Diego explained, “An anti-bullying curriculum has been integrated into our mobile classroom program benefitting the students of the San Diego area in hopes of addressing this issue.” For more on the United Nations Chapter of San Diego’s efforts on bullying please visit their UNASD.
Although the United Nations Chapter of San Diego is offering anti-bullying curriculum in local classrooms, the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego is offering comprehensive workshops on bullying. Just recently the ADL, which is a Jewish civil rights organization, celebrated their 100th anniversary a few months ago. At the press summit, I caught up with Tina Malka, Associate Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League of San Diego; she explained “The ADL is a leader in anti-bias education workshops that aid in creating a positive educational environments for children along with classroom teachers. Our cyber bullying programs and anti-bullying programs help empower youth in the greater San Diego area. Our main goal, however, is to build allies for students and educators when it comes to bullying”. Visit ADL for more information.
With the help of authors, organizations, and through community efforts we can help put an end to the act of bullying in our world. We were thrilled to attend this important event among Comic Con’s exciting weekend!