5 ways you can help with Pink Shirt Day – Feb 25th


David Shepherd and Travis Price of Berwick from Nova Scotia decided to turn the day around by wearing pink shirts to school as well as distribute 50 pink shirts that carry slogans against bullying. They became organizers of the anti bullying day and wants every day to be Pink Shirt Day

images (5)Last week the CKNW Orphans’ Fund launched an exciting social campaign with the goal to spread positivity and kindness on the internet. It’s super easy to participate, all you do is upload a photo/tag a friend (facebook, twitter, instagram) you want to say something positive about and include the hashtag #PinkItForward. For every use of this hashtag, Coast Capital Savings will donate $1 to Pink Shirt Day, funding anti-bullying programs in BC.

Other AWESOME ways to participate in CKNW Orphans’ Fund Pink Shirt Day – Feb 25th

  1. Purchase the official t-shirt at London Drugs for $9.80 and wear it on Wednesday, Feb 25th – Pink Shirt Day! Only the official t-shirt raises funds for anti-bullying programs!
  2. Pick up a lapel pin at Coast Capital Savings for those of you who wear ties, suits, blouses to work.
  3. Make a donation! Every dollar counts. Donate Now.
  4. Support all our amazing part proceeds campaigns benefiting Pink Shirt Day.
  5. #PinkItForward and help us make the internet a positive place! Be kind and respectful

Just doing one of these small things WILL make a difference.

You can also share this post with your friends and family to help us spread the word!


Continue readingPosted on February 23, 2015


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Gay Calgary police officer promotes anti-bullying program of hope


As a kid, Tad Milmine was bullied by a hostile step-mother, ignored by a drunken father andPolice banished to the basement of the family home in Cambridge, Ont.

alta-fivequestions20nw1School wasn’t any better. After running away at 17, Milmine struggled with his confidence and sexuality. Now, in the job he always wanted, the openly gay Calgary police officer is promoting Bullying Ends Here, a program of hope, writes Allan Maki.

What was your childhood like?

I’d come home from school and go right to the basement, and it was a real basement with concrete walls, no TV, no radio, just a bed. Sometimes I’d be allowed to come up for dinner, most of the time it was left at the top of the stairs so I’d eat it in the basement. … I remember two boys once followed me after school. They kept calling me names. When I got home, I said, ‘Okay, I’m safe.’ I could hear some fumbling around on the porch area. Eventually, I went upstairs. The two guys were gone but I could see the glass screen door was all covered in spit. I didn’t want my stepmom seeing that because I would be the one blamed for it.

How did you end up becoming a police officer?

policeman-smileyAfter I ran away from home and got my own apartment, I was working in retail and restaurants and it was just a fluke encounter that at 32 years old I met someone who was a police officer. I remember saying that was my dream. That’s when he said, ‘Have you ever tried? Why wouldn’t you at least try because you have nothing to lose but potentially everything to gain?’ So I did. I applied. I ended up being hired by the RCMP in Surrey, B.C.

You left the RCMP last year. Was it because of your sexuality?

I was not out as a gay man when I applied. It was two years into being a Mountie that I did. … Leaving was about my [anti-bullying] program. I was doing it on my own time at my own expense. I was served a document from the RCMP – eight pages – that was basically a cease-and-desist order saying I had to stop immediately. Shut the website down. No more e-mails. No more presentations until I could meet all of their demands and then seek the approval of the Human Resources officer. I explained that was not possible and that I was going to keep going with the program. It was very business-like; there was no yelling, no insults. I quit. Obviously, a huge door opened and presented me with a chance at joining the Calgary Police Services.

Have you experienced any abuse from your fellow officers?

police-police-officer-uniform-smiley-emoticon-001085-facebookNot at all, not once. I’m aware of the stereotypes out there, especially in this line of work. I thought there was going to be locker-room challenges. There were going to be jokes. The reality is there isn’t, and I only speak from my own experiences because I’m not naive to say it never happens.

When you do your Bullying Ends Here presentation in schools, what do you say to the students and what do they say to you?

I tell them I received 15,000 e-mails last school year alone and I respond to every one myself. Hundreds of those e-mails are from self-confessed bullies and they’re saying they don’t know how to stop. They say, ‘If I stop, I’m not going to be on that pedestal. I’m going to lose my status within this group.’ That reflects what the program is about. It’s all of us, together.

ALLAN MAKI – The Globe and Mail – Published Friday, Feb. 20 2015,


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JCI India Hosts Aeromodelling Show to Collect MY World Votes

Originally posted on MY World:

From JCI India

The 1st phase of the MY WORLD awareness launch was done during the Trade & Fun Fair of JCI Ankleshwar – an Annual event that has been held for last 12 years. The event was launched by Imm. Past President of JCI India Deepak Nahar, in the presence of 5000 people in Ankleshwar, India. Attendees included children and adults from all different walks of life, as well as community leaders such as Zone President of Gujarat Hemal Shah, Ankleshwar Industries Association President Chandresh Devani, President of JCI Ankletshwar Dhiren Shah, Project Chairman Sangita Nahar and other dignitaries present.

In order to draw attention to the importance of MY World as a means of engaging the public in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and to create the World We Want, we planned an innovative way to attract attention to our event – by organizing an Educational Aeromodelling show. During an…

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Why workplace bullying goes underreported



Bullying at work grinds victims down and make them an ‘easy target’ for further abuse, the findings showed.

Bullying at work deteriorates mental health of victims so much that they become anxious, leaving them less able to stand up for themselves and more vulnerable to further harassment, warns a study.

The research suggests that as workplace bullying is a vicious cycle, employers should not only crack down on workplace bullies, but also help victims gain the skills to cope with difficult situations.

india2“Examples of bullying at work include harassing, offending, or socially excluding someone repeatedly over a period of around six months,” pointed out Ana Sanz Vergel from the University of East Anglia in Britain.

“We found that being exposed to workplace bullying leads to deteriorated mental health and decreased well-being. But at the same time, showing anxious behaviour puts the victim in a weak position and makes them an easy target – leading to a spiral of abuse,” Sanz Vergel added.

The research team tested their theory on 348 Spanish employees. Participants were interviewed about their experiences of bullying and assessed for anxiety and vigour.


“We are by no means victim-blaming here

Clearly employers need to have strong policies against workplace bullying. But training programmes to help victims learn coping mechanisms could help to break the vicious cycle,” Sanz Vergel said.

The study appeared in Anxiety, Stress & Coping: An International Journal.
Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device. IANS | Feb 18, 2015, 01.29 PM IST


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Outpouring over German teenager’s video shows how serious bullying is


Three million clicks and counting … There has been a wave of support in response to a simple video posted online by a German teenager who is asking his peers to stand up to bullying. DW takes a look.


On February 8 at 2:55 p.m., Benjamin “Drews” Fokken posted a video on his Facebook timeline, a pretty regular occurrence for the 19-year-old, who enjoys covering popular songs ranging from Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” to Silbermond’s “Ja” – and posting his renditions to his profile.

imagesThe songs do pretty well, with Fokken averaging in the high hundreds for most videos, but what happened with the clip he uploaded on February 8, “Against Bullying!” blew even his wildest dreams out of the water.

Staring into the camera with an expression of vague melancholy, Fokken holds up papers with the following handwritten messages:

People! Nobody is worth less than anyone else just because he or she:

Has a handicap / May not have much money / May not be very smart / May not have the best figure / Is gay, lesbian or bisexual / Has a different skin color / Has a different religion / Comes from a different country

Victims of bullying often feel lonesome and left alone. They hurt their bodies because they think they are different. They have thoughts about suicide!

How would – you – feel about that?

Only TOGETHER can we CHANGE things! =)

Fokken’s video was clicked more than 3 million times within five days. Over 100,000 people have shared and “liked” it. ☆☆ AGAINST BULLYING !! ☆☆

‘Important and necessary’

The wave of support the video has elicited has been covered extensively in German media, with Fokken giving interviews to a number of outlets about why he felt moved to make it and share it with his peers.
“Don’t worry – I’m not in danger of committing suicide,” he told Spiegel Online, admitting that he had cut his arms with a razor blade before. For years, he suffered from verbal attacks by his peers: “Name-calling, because of how round my body and face are. … But only very seldom have I thought that I didn’t want to be alive in the world anymore.”

0,,16820214_401,00Fokken’s video is a kind of homage to Amanda Todd, a Canadian girl who posted a similar clip to YouTube in which she explained the suffering she went through as a result of bullying.

“There is a dramatic difference between Benjamin’s clip and that of Amanda Todd,” said Uwe Leest, who chairs the Bündnis gegen Cybermobbing, a German initiative against Cyberbullying. “Tragically, this young girl killed herself and used YouTube as a way to send a suicide note. Benjamin has used Facebook to send a strong signal in defense of the victims of bullying. And he deserves our respect for this.”

computing-smileThe Bündnis gegen Cybermobbing says that one in four young people in Germany suffers severely from cyberbullying at some point during puberty. Leest told DW that the attention Fokken’s video has received displays the “great dimension of this social problem,” adding that it wasn’t only important as a show of support for victims, but rather – and perhaps more significantly – as a way to show bullies how much their bullying hurts.

“What Benjamin has done is incredibly vital for our society. His courage to ask: ‘How would you feel?’ to the people who have caused him pain. This was important and necessary,” Leest said.
Fokken himself has described the fear that accompanied posting his video online. “At first I was afraid that it would all start again. The bullying, the name-calling, all that crap,” he told Spiegel Online.

Going by the flood of reactions – almost exclusively positive – to his video, exactly the opposite was the case. “It’s the start of a new life for me,” he told Radio Bremen, audibly pleased that this time he let his courage do the talking.


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Recognizing Anxiety: Symptoms, Signs, and Risk Factors


Everyone has anxiety from time to time, but chronic anxiety can negatively impact your quality of life. It is a mental health disorder that can also have serious consequences for your physical health.

Anxiety is a normal part of human life. You may have felt anxiety before addressing a group or applying for a job, for example. In the short term, anxiety increases your breathing rate and heart rate, concentrating the blood flow to your brain, where you need it. This very physical response is preparing you to face an intense situation. If it gets too intense, however, you might start to feel lightheaded and nauseous. An excessive or persistent state of anxiety can have a devastating effect on your physical and mental health.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 40 million American adults have some type of anxiety disorder every year. An anxiety disorder is a condition in which you experience frequent, powerful bouts of anxiety that interfere with your life. This type of anxiety can get in the way of family, career, and social obligations.
There are several types of anxiety disorder. Among them are:


  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is excessive anxiety for no apparent reason. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), GAD affects about 6.8 million American adults a year. GAD is diagnosed when extreme worry about a variety of things lasts six months or longer. If you have a mild case, you’re probably able to function fairly normally. More severe cases may have a profound impact on your life.
  • Social anxiety disorder is a paralyzing fear of social situations and of being judged or humiliated by others. This severe social phobia can leave one feeling ashamed and alone. About 15 million American adults live with social anxiety disorder, according to the ADAA. The typical age at onset is 13. Thirty-six percent of patients wait a decade or more before pursuing help.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops after you’ve witnessed or experienced something traumatic. Symptoms can begin immediately or be delayed for years. Common causes include war, natural disasters, or physical attack. Episodes of anxiety may be triggered without warning.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is also a type of anxiety disorder. People with OCD are overwhelmed with the desire to perform particular rituals (compulsions) over and over again. Common compulsions include habitual hand washing, counting, or checking something.

images (10)Phobias are also anxiety disorders. Common phobias include fear of tight spaces (claustrophobia) and fear of heights (acrophobia). It creates a powerful urge to avoid the feared object or situation.
Panic disorder causes panic attacks spontaneous feelings of anxiety, terror, or impending doom. Physical symptoms include heart palpitations, chest pain, and shortness of breath. These attacks may be repeated at any time. People with any type of anxiety disorder may have panic attacks.

Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

1_0Anxiety manifests in many different ways. Symptoms may be unique to the type of anxiety disorder or to the individual. All include magnified worry about something for more than six months. General symptoms include:

  • nervousness, irritability, restlessness
  • trouble sleeping, fatigue
  • trouble concentrating

During moments of extreme anxiety or during a panic atta…..continue reading >>>>>


Also a Great read on managing fear and anxiety: A Layman’s Guide to Managing FEAR


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Spark: A Visual Poem by Meghan Rienks


“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

I learned a lot about myself and life in these last few months. I thought I would share some of these insights with you all.

fd2d24c781ce11529ef488d291bc386eWe have a choice on how we live our lives. We can be defined by numbers and scores and things you write on paper. Or we can measure our worth in compassion, gratitude and things we cannot touch. I hope you choose to grow, to learn and to be your own spark.

All of the thanks to Lily Marston for never telling me my ideas are impossible & always pushing me one step further. This video could not have been done without you.

Stalk me across the internet:
♡ Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/meghanrosette
♡ Instagram http://instagram.com/meghanrienks
♡ Second Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MoreMeghann
♡ Tumblr: http://meghanrosette.tumblr.com/
♡ Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/meghanrosette/
♡ Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/meghanrosettte


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Bullying and Corporate Psychopaths at Work

Bullying Prevention:

An interesting post from July 29, 2013…..revised

Originally posted on The New Bullying Prevention:


smiley-typing-computerWorkplace Bullying will always be, it’s impossible to stop a Psychopath that is without a conscience, empathy and are self centred, and will destroy anyone or anything that appears as a threat.smiley_ordi_travail2

star-153133_640I want to share a video from a Professor at the “Middlesex University” in England, his professional views on Bullying and work Psychopaths.

Clive is a Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour at Middlesex University in England. For the past seven years, he has studied the evidence and effects of toxic leadership, and in particular the influence of the presence of corporate psychopaths on various workplace outcomes, including on levels of conflict and bullying at work.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a…

View original 38 more words

Keep your paws up little monster, RIP Jamey Rodemeyer in honor of Stop Bullying Day


ripWhen I learned in Sept 2011 of Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide and saw his “It Gets Better” video (R.I.P little friend) on Dec 12, 2011 it sparked the creation of what is now known as “THE NEW BULLYING PREVENTION”

Opinions_Logo_01In honor of today being Stop Bullying Day and four years after a young boy committed suicide for being bullied, I am hoping that this editorial will help other kids suffering from bullying and help put an end to this way to often tragic action. If we work together, hopefully we can hope for our future kids to go through life bully-free.

In 2011, Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14 year old boy from Buffalo, New York who identified himself as bisexual hung himself in front of his parents home. Jamey endured anti-gay bullying similar to mine, as well as, many teens of the LGBTQ community.

When in junior high, the anti-gay bullying resulted in Jamey blogging about it on his blogging accounts. He talked about being bullied and suicide on his tumblr account. On YouTube, he seemed happy and full of sunshine. He talked of Lady Gaga who was his idol because she says we were “Born This Way.”

Towards the end of junior high, he put on his poker face and made it appear that things were getting better. He was appearing as if he embraced his differences and his sexuality. He even did a YouTube video for the “It Gets Better” project founded by gay activist and journalist, Dan Savage. In the video he talks about loving oneself and overcoming anti-gay bullying.

Three weeks into high school, on September 18th, he took his own life.

It brings me great sadness that such a handsome and vibrant young boy fell prey to the hurtful words of others. He was trying his hardest to overcome it. His message still rings true, “It gets better, in time.” Somewhere inside of him he lost faith in his own message due to ongoing bullying that became too much. He had a light around him and was taken from us too soon.

I feel proud to say he would accomplished great things if such a tragedy did not occur.

I remember being bullied growing up. It dates back to when I was in grade school. I have always been gay which makes me different and children can be very mean. I recall the words fag and faggot being tossed around back. All I did growing up was hang out with girls. So, it provoked name calling and ridicule.

I was never a fighter.

I found it very hard to fight back. I think one day I threw my book on the concrete ground in retaliation of being bullied.

Yeah jerk, that will teach you…I bet my book hurt you really bad seeing how it’s on the ground! Seriously! What was I thinking?

I was maybe 10 or 11 years old. I was scared. I should have clobbered him with the textbook. I mean let’s think for a moment, textbooks can hurt!

I was scared and felt helpless to the point where I had to go against my nature and fight. But I was also taught, and very well might I add, not to resort to violence either. Now, as I look back, I really wish I was taught violence is okay in self-defense situations.

The anti-gay bullying and name calling only got worse as I got older. In junior high, I was being called fag, sissy, faggot, p*ssy and many other slurs. I was being chased, kicked, shoved and pushed around.

It was always the same reasons. I was gay.

I hung around with the girls and I was not having sex with them. Part of me wants to believe that I was strong enough mentally to endure the anti-gay bullying without having a meltdown, but I also feel I had and still have a strong set of friends who have always been accepting of me.

photoMy best friends back in junior high stuck up for me, maybe not with fists, but with strong words and just through the simple fact that they got involved. They somehow stepped up each and every time that they were around witnessing anti-gay bullying. Back then I felt helpless, but I also was ashamed because I had females fighting my battles which added to my frustrations.

I was truly thankful for them though, and still am.

I look back now and I thank heaven that they stepped up when they did. I used to have to find alternate routes home just to avoid bullying. Obviously, I was not as strong as I’d like to believe. I was very weak emotionally and fragile when it came to bullying. It had a world of negative impact on my confidence and self esteem.

I’m 38 years old now, a long way from those bullying days in grade school. It got better over time. I am fortunate to have survived such hatred and ignorance. Bullying in every form especially anti-gay bullying needs to stop.

The point of my story is not that I am one of the victims. It’s that I am a survivor.

Regardless of what I think I could’ve done differently when faced with such pointless attacks on my character, I did fight through and had a support system around me who exemplified the meaning of “great kid.”

Was I weaker back then than I originally thought? Yes. But the point is kids at that age shouldn’t have to be placed in those ridiculous, meaningless and sometimes character defining situations in the first place.

How many young boys and girls have to die? Why do teens have to find different ways home? Why do they have to suffer everyday making life that much more unbearable? When will people listen and realize we all are different but we are all human? Did you go through bullying growing up? How did it affect you? Did you know someone else who endured such ignorance? Tell me your story!

rip (1)TheCelebrityCafe would like to dedicate this article In Memory of Jamey Rodemeyer and others who have lost their lives due to bullying and we hope it can help others.

TheCelebrityCafe.com – By Marc Regen – Feb, 2, 2015 You can also visit Lady Gaga’s facebook page she also created for awareness of Bullying “Born This Way Foundation


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Beating bullies by the book


CORNWALL, Ontario – The kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Cornwall/SDG have a story to tell.

© Adam Brazeau Pictured are Boys & Girls Club of Cornwall/SDG anti-bullying book Belonging-Appartenance contributing authors Bianca Walker, Benjamin Weight, and Melika Marleau at the BGC 506 Clubhouse on Feb. 6, 2015.
© Adam Brazeau Pictured are Boys & Girls Club of Cornwall/SDG anti-bullying book Belonging-Appartenance contributing authors Bianca Walker, Benjamin Weight, and Melika Marleau at the BGC 506 Clubhouse on Feb. 6, 2015.
Nearly 70 local young authors have penned and illustrated the third instalment of an ongoing ‘Doing the Write Thing’ series of anti-bullying books.

Belonging-Appartenance, a collection of eight short stories, was recently launched at the BGC 506 Clubhouse.

“If kids are being bullied, they’ll know how to deal with it better,“ said contributing author Malika Marleau, 12.

BGC senior staff member Trevor Smith said the creative process helps kids twofold: the first is openly talking about bullying, which he claims is a greater problem these days than ever before. The second: being able to create.

“It’s special for them because they actually get to see a finished product,” Smith added.

He noted that seven of BGC’s eight after school program sites contributed one short story each, and the Francophone location submitted two.

Another young scribe, Benjamin Weight, 11, considers the book a must-read for an unlikely audience.

“If bullies check it out they might realize they’re hurting other people’s feelings,” said Weight.

The book sells for $10 and can be purchased at the BGC clubhouse on First Street East.

images (5)Former Cornwall principal and local theatre veteran Bill Roddy gave a special reading at the book launch event.

“This project goes along with our ‘Pink Shirt’ Day anti-bullying fundraiser and movement on February 25,” said Smith.

Shirts in all sizes are $10 and are for sale at Scotiabank and Baxtrom’s YIG.

In 2014, the non-profit agency served over 1,600 youth in Cornwall and SDG.

Currently, there are 400 children in BGC after school programs, which are run at eight different locations. There are also two teen programs that serve hundreds of youth.

Beating bullies by the bookPublished on February 08, 2015 – By Adam Brazeau To learn more visit The Boys & Girls Club of Cornwall/SDG on facebook


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Myths About Suicide

Bullying Prevention:

If you knew a real life suicide was to be carried out on-line for the world to see, would you watch???

Originally posted on Transitions:

SuicideSuicide is one of the most stigmatized acts, yet those who die by suicide are those who needed our assistance the most. This post will debunk some of the common myths about suicide, based on the research of Thomas Joiner in his book Myths About Suicide.

Popular myths are that people who commit suicide are cowardly, selfish, or impulsive; but in fact, Joiner has demonstrated just the opposite. People who are most at risk of dying by suicide are actually less fearful (hence the opposite of cowardly), unselfish in their perceptions, rational in their preparation, and conscious in their decision.

Those who die by suicide are not cowardly. In fact, those who have completed suicide are those who are least fearful since they were able to overcome the brain’s survival mechanism based in the amygdala. The desire to commit suicide, as previously talked about, is fundamentally produced…

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Combating Workplace Bullying


Bullying hurts everyone. As union members, we have a role to play in combating workplace bullying.


Mar 26, 2015 to Mar 27, 2015


canstock10941914Niagara Area Office, 110-A Hannover Drive, St. Catharines


Thursday 9 am – 4 pm & Friday 9 am – 12 pm


Combating Workplace Bullying

Come and talk about:

  • what bullying is and isn’t
  • how bullying hurts the target, the witnesses, the employer, the union and even the bully
  • how not to be a bystander
  • how the union can make a difference


Friday, March 13, 2015 – 04:00

Please provide in writing to ccalvelli@cupe.ca by Friday, March 13, 2015 your cancellation request. Please ensure you provide your local number, address and contact numbers. Please note that this workshop is subject to cancellation due to low registration or other reasons.



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LGBT History Month February 2015


A message from Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive

LGBT-historyThis month is LGBT History Month, a time to stop and reflect on how far we’ve come as a movement, where we are now, and what is left to do. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people have experienced so much over the last sixty years.

Men were persecuted through the fifties and sixties – afraid they would be punished for being gay or bisexual. The HIV epidemic of the 1980s required us a community to pull together against a further barrage of hatred. And this all took place against a backdrop of gross legal inequality threatening our rights to live, work, love, socialise and simply be ourselves.

hateThe legacy of those times remains. Young people experience bullying in school and hate crime against us is as high as ever. We feel the effects of this legacy but we don’t necessarily remember the reasons why it was created. That is why this month we are celebrating historic moments in LGBT history. For me, my moment was in 2000 when the age of consent was reduced from 18 to 16. Overnight, the men I was at university with, who’d spent much of their adolescence acutely aware that what they were doing might be illegal, were equal to their heterosexual friends.

211None of these changes would have been possible without the tireless efforts of groups, individuals and activists who worked in a range of ways to achieve change. We need to act now to preserve the history made by those groups. We shouldn’t forget the vital role that the gay pubs and clubs played, creating a space where we could be ourselves. The Birmingham Village saved me as a teenager, and this month I’ll be raising a pint in Soho where the pubs and clubs continue to create a welcoming space for all of us.

At Stonewall, we know that the fight for equality is far from over, but our movement is built on strong foundations which will serve us well in the battles to come.

With best wishes,



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The WorkPlace and Mobbing


Employed under contract from April 3, 2003 to Sept 9, 2009, we were a team of thirty (30) the staff were like family but one day that all changed, for reasons unknown as I can only speculate, they all turned on me and with extreme hate better known as Mobbing. Try to imagine going to work everyday knowing you were going to be harassed by twenty (20) or more people, I did for three (3) years, tried to do my job and no matter how much hatred they showed I always retaliated with “LOVE” until they finally fired me.

images (32)Mobbing can be understood as the stressor to beat all stressors. It is an impassioned, collective campaign by co-workers to exclude, punish, and humiliate a targeted worker. Initiated most often by a person in a position of power or influence, mobbing is a desperate urge to crush and eliminate the target. The urge travels through the workplace like a virus, infecting one person after another.

The target comes to be viewed as absolutely abhorrent, with no redeeming qualities, outside the circle of acceptance and respectability, deserving only of contempt. As the campaign proceeds, a steadily larger range of hostile ploys and communications comes to be seen as legitimate. Mobbing is hardly the only source of debilitating stress at work, and it was not the only one on which Leymann did research.

He interviewed bank employees who had undergone the terror of armed robbery, and subway drivers who had watched helplessly as their trains ran over persons who fell or jumped onto the tracks. Leymann documented the depression, absenteeism, sleeplessness, and other symptoms of trauma resulting from such stressful experiences.

Bank robberies and subway suicides were no match, however, for being mobbed by co-workers in the personal devastation that ensued. Not infrequently, mobbing spelled the end of the target’s career, marriage, health, and livelihood. From a study of circumstances surrounding suicides in Sweden, Leymann estimated that about twelve percent of people who take their own lives have recently been mobbed at work.




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What would be your one question about South Sudan?


Do you have a question? I thought I would share this email, What would you like to ask Forest Whitaker about South Sudan?

images (2)We wanted to give you a heads up about an important upcoming trip and to give you a unique chance to get involved.

This weekend, UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos and Oscar Winning Actor and UN ambassador Forest Whitaker are visiting South Sudan.

This is a rare opportunity to speak directly to two influential and committed global figures. Please email hello@messengersofhumanity.org

Why are they visiting?

South Sudan has been in the grip of one of the world’s worst conflicts and humanitarian crises for more than a year now. Almost every single person in the country has been affected in some way. Thousands have been killed or injured, often in the most gruesome ways imaginable. Millions have been forced to flee their homes. Even children haven’t been spared the grim horrors. In fact, Forest has a charity in South Sudan that works on restoring peace and stability in fragile communities.

This is also Valerie’s last visit to the country before she finishes as UN Humanitarian Chief.

So how can you get involved?

smiley_face_cameraWe’re sending a documentary crew to cover the mission. One of our team is travelling with them, and has agreed to ask them questions on your behalf. So… Send us your questions and we’ll do all we can to get as many of them answered by Valerie and Forest on film.

We’re looking for questions related to South Sudan and the humanitarian situation there. Maybe you want to ask Forest why he cares so much about the country? Or perhaps you want to ask Valerie her opinion on how long the crisis will continue?

We’re looking forward to your questions.

Keep an eye out for a lot more on this mission and on the situation in South Sudan.

Messengers Of Humanity


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Springstead students sign pledges to be kind, stop bullying


“Our whole goal is to have them sign a petition and be aware that they pledge not to bully other students, not to call names and (to) intervene when it can be done safely and support efforts to end bullying and name-calling,”

signingSPRING HILL — Variously colored half-sheets of paper covered portions of two walls and a window in the Springstead High School cafeteria by the end of the lunch periods. The papers had been signed by students pledging to be kind to one another.

The pledges were a kickoff for Celebrate Kindness Week, a national activity sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Educational Network. Linda and Karen Schrader, secretary and president, respectively, of the local chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays facilitated the signup.

“I’m certified trained with GLSEN,” Linda Schrader, 54, said, as is her wife, Karen, 53, adding that the two organizations work together. There is a PFLAG group at Springstead for students that meets every Thursday at various times to accommodate the students’ schedules.

Celebrate Kindness Week was once known as No Name-Calling Week, and information about it can be found at no name calling week.

“Our whole goal is to have them sign a petition and be aware that they pledge not to bully other students, not to call names and (to) intervene when it can be done safely and support efforts to end bullying and name-calling,” Linda Schrader said.

Springstead social worker Sarah Reyes supported Celebrate Kindness Week “because our students need to feel acceptance, tolerance,” she said.

Since PFLAG has been at the school, she said, she has seen more openness among students. They are recognizing that although they all have differences, they also are all the same.

“This program has created such wonderful changes,” she said, suggesting that other schools could benefit from it as well.

  • Ninth-grader Korinna Biedinger, 14, signed the pledge during her lunch period. “I signed it because I’ve watched so many people in the past being bullied, and I want to put a stop to it,” she said.
  • Ninth-graders Alexis Martinez, 14, and Melody Weeks, 14, both signed because the bullying issue hits close to home for them. “In seventh grade, Melody and I both lost our friend, Miguel Rodriquez, from bullying. He was being bullied for a long time, and no one knew,” Alexis said. “He never told anyone,” Melody said. “No one noticed anything until he died. The whole school was silent that whole day. Miguel illustration-of-a-smiley-wearing-sunglasses_99615176was one of the youngest kids, which made it more sad to lose him.” The girls explained that Miguel committed suicide as a result of the bullying. “It was just a bunch of name-calling,” “I signed the pledge,” Melody said, “to make sure no child has to go through what Miguel did and no mother has to lose a child.”
  • Alexis said she signed the pledge because “I don’t want people getting hurt and committing suicide again.”
  • For freshman Jasmyn Benton, 14, signing was more simple. She participated, she said, because “I’m a nice person.”
  • Sophomore Rianna Pierce, 15, signed the pledge and said she is a member of PFLAG.
  • “I joined because of what it was, a way to support people,” she said, adding that she likes letting people know they are accepted.

By the end of the day, 501 students and staffers had signed pledges. The walls were very colorful.

Springstead students sign pledges to be kind, stop bullying 01/21/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 5:33pm]


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Be Nice: Organization Aims to Expand Bullying and Suicide Prevention Program


05“If it weren’t for a teacher who noticed what was going on, she had actually been contemplating taking her life,” Buck said. “Be Nice asks if you can be that person to notice it in somebody else.”

be-nice“You may not see the sun, but it has not failed to shine. It is just being covered. You may not see a hope for something better, but there is.”
“You are more than your worries.” “Keep your heads held high and your attitudes higher.”
These are just a few recent encouraging tweets from @zeelandbenice, a group at Zeeland High School on a mission to spread love and support for their peers.

Todd Kamstra is a counselor and social worker at Zeeland High School. This is the third year the school district has supported a chapter of Be Nice, a mental health awareness and bullying and suicide prevention program started by the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. be nice. 2014 Creekside Fly-over pictureEach of the district’s schools has implemented the campaign the best way they see fit, and Kamstra said “it’s certainly something we’ve embraced as a district, K-12.”

He said reframing heavy talks about suicide and bullying into a simple mission to be nice has helped teachers and students open up about topics that can otherwise be difficult to discuss.
“It’s a way for us to begin and tiptoe into that conversation that has been the last taboo,” Kamstra said.
The high school holds a yearly assembly in support of the program and banners are prominently displayed in the gym. Teachers wear their Be Nice gear once a month and students operate the Be Nice Twitter feed with some staff supervision.
“I think it’s a reminder for all of us, adults included, that just being nice can make someone’s day and it can also make your day go better,” he said.

Smiley-LoveBirdsKamstra points to an example of a young man who was bullying a female student at the school. Two other girls were nearby and an administrator overheard them telling the bully that “we don’t do that kind of thing here. We have this thing called Be Nice.” Stories like that brighten Christy Buck’s day. She’s the Executive Director of the Mental Health Foundation. She said Be Nice was started four years ago in response to the suicide death of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University student who died after online bullying at his expense.

Buck said the sad circumstances surrounding Clementi’s death spurred her into action. She thought of the idea for Be Nice and had her assistant, Larissa Payton, who is also a graphic designer, create an eye-catching logo that’s featured on bumper stickers, t-shirts and other merchandise available for purchase.
The Be Nice campaign focuses on the underlying mental health issues that can lead someone to take their own life and the ways in which bullying can exacerbate an already fragile mental state.
“We want people to understand that their actions can have an effect on people’s mental health,” she said.
Last July, the organization launched a full curriculum that can be purchased and implemented in schools around the country. Buck said over 45 schools are currently using the kit, mostly in West Michigan, although some schools in Ohio are just starting to put it in place.

“We would love it if we could get farther into the east side of the state and throughout Michigan,” Buck said.
Curriculum centers around the n.i.c.e model of notice, invite, challenge, and empower:

Notice what is good, what is right, and what we could do better to make everyone feel like they belong. Invite ourselves to make a change. Remember, the small things make a big difference. Challenge others to join you in the movement. Empower your entire school and community to embrace the principles of Be Nice

Buck said being more aware and empathetic goes a long way toward preventing suicide in a high school setting. Buck sometimes attends Be Nice assemblies held at local high schools. She remembers one student in particular, a girl who looked like she had it completely together, but whose home life was falling apart. An observant teacher likely saved her life.

Learn more about Be Nice at beniceonline.com, where you can purchase merchandise and find out how to start a chapter of Be Nice in your school.

Courtesy of A Healthier Michigan By Julie Bitely – January 27, 2015


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“To love is to recognize yourself in another.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Originally posted on Living Life With Passion:


Sharon K. Brayfield, Leadership Coach and Business Mentor

Coaching for results is available, please contact me at Sharon@LivingLifeWithPassion.net to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Let’s also connect on:




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New workplace anti-bully law (AB2053) is instructive for parents


AB2053 requires employers to provide workplace training that will give “practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation…”

ladyThis year a new anti-bullying law (AB2053) takes effect for the workplace, and it raises good questions for the home and school as well. Lisa Ford-Berry, founder of BRAVE Society, a Carmichael non-profit dedicated to bullying prevention and intervention strategies for the education culture children navigate with hostility hyped by cyber communications. AB2053 requires employers to provide workplace training that will give “practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation…”, and in this regard it stands to reason that that bullying at the workplace is ultimately the result of learned behavior at home and in our community.

Ford -Berry lost her teenage son Michael to suicide in 2008 which was his response to a bully culture at school; an all consuming hate-biased harassment experience over a rumor that he was gay convinced him there was no hope for his future. She learned after his death that the social environment our children navigate on campus is incredibly hostile and uncivil because relentless cyber-powered harassment, discrimination and retaliation are ignored and/or tolerated by the adults at school and at home. “This [AB2053] is standard, and the bottom line is if you work you are afforded this protection – meaning our educators are as well,” she said. “So when [educators] claim they don’t know what to do or how to do it; they should simply do for our children what they would do for themselves.”

Family culture and the bully mentality

A recent workplace webinar sponsored by HR Options in Walnut Creek featured Adam Fiss a representative of Littler Mendelson law firm, who addressed the implications for AB2053 from the standpoint of employers. His guidance is to “foster a culture of civility, communication and compliance” at the workplace. This is advice that would also make sense if your desire is to create a peaceful home and a harassment-free learning environment at school.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The idea of creating a culture that is civil at home and school requires thought leadership today, because the norms for civil society that were held up in the community at large are much less so in modern, hyper-connected world. “I think we give too many passes to our children [for uncivil conduct],” Ford-Berry said. “I think poor parenting has created more broken hearts; mine included.”

Signs that your home may not be a ‘bully-free’ zone

  • Your child’s mobile phone is considered private; the parent does not check texting and social media posts to ensure there is a standard of civility
  • Raised voices and foul language are becoming the norm
  • Your children are allowed to make disparaging, hateful remarks about one another and others without correction
    Negative talk and gossip are tolerated as acceptable conversation, and/ or are considered a “phase” when the kids are cruel
  • Your children are spending a lot of time isolated from the family with their mobile devices.

Continue reading this article or for more about strategies for bully intervention at school, go to BRAVE Society.


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“Play With Me” Anti-Bullying Video


downloadColeman Steele is singing about being friends and belonging! The lyrics are perfect for an identity safe preschool or Kinder classroom. Published on Sep 17, 2014 the Anti-bullying version of Sam Smith’s Stay with Me sung by” Coleman Steele and children Lyrics”


Why you frowning at me, it won’t hurt to smile
I just asked to play your game a while
When you’re older I know you’ll understand
You can’t say you can’t play so take my hand

Oh won’t you play with me
images (5)Come follow my lead
Feeling left out’s not what we need
So come on, play with me

Why am I so emotional?
Being left out of games hurts my soul
Get so knocked down, wipe off the dirt
You can play with me so it doesn’t hurt

You can visit Coleman Steele’s YouTube Page Here


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Haiku Friday –– Love Story

Originally posted on Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog:

Hello and welcome to Haiku Friday! It’s great to have visitors. I hope you enjoy!

i_lost_my_hope_along_the_way_by_ilojleen-d66ek2vI Lost My Hope Along The Way by Ilojleen on DeviantART “The depicted girl is the beautiful Cristina Otero. Anyway, although it’s not my face here, the portrait symbolizes all the seriously bad and sad experiences I’ve been through since last year. If someone thinks, ‘I didn’t notice any change in your behaviour’… well, I’m good at keeping up appearances.” ~Dominika (ilojleen on DeviantART)


Love Story

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

All consuming pain

A hundred Bullet Ants sting

How losing you feels

bullet ants-pain-vashti-quiroz-vega-blog Bullet Ant – Click the picture to watch a YouTube video bitten by one of these. The worst pain known to man



Wedding Bliss

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Whirling through the air

Nuptial flight to test true love

A courageous heart

gallup.d-Vertigo - Whirling Bald Eagles Over Santa Cruz Island

Have a great weekend everyone!

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The stories behind child abuse and bullying numbers


2796Consequences of abuse and bullying include physical and mental issues, cyclical abuse, relationship issues, and societal burdens.

Special to the Daily Record

6218198972104704Victims are people you know. Anyone can be an offender. There is no demographic of an abuser.
On Jan. 15, Stacy Pendarvis, program director for the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, educated the Jacksonville Women Lawyers Association about child abuse and bullying prevention.

During this continuing education luncheon, attorneys and professionals learned that cyberbullying and digital abuse affect millions of children in the U.S.

Pendarvis explained that one out of every seven children age 10-17 will be sexually solicited online and that more than half of all youths experience some form of cyberbullying. Girls are disproportionately affected.

images16The impact on Florida alone is staggering. Not only does Florida rank fourth in the nation for the volume of child pornography produced, but the economic impact of child sexual abuse treatment is more than $9 billion annually.

Statistics show 70 percent of children and teenagers admit to hiding their online activities from parents. Much to the shock of many in the room, Pendarvis said the fourth most frequently searched term by children under the age of 7 is “porn.”

She explained there are text codes youths use, such as “Code 9” to indicate there is a parent in the room. Other codes are more sinister, such as “GKY” (go kill yourself) or “GNOC” (get naked on camera).

Many of these childhood victims of abuse or bullying are exposed to multiple forms of victimization and maltreatment, known as polyvictimization. For instance, a child bullied at school is more likely to experience later sexual abuse or physical assault.

There are various pathways to victimization, which the Monique Burr Foundation is seeking to prevent through early childhood education. The foundation has developed a program called Child Safety Matters that is offered at no cost to public schools throughout Florida; Duval County has mandated this program this coming year. Students in kindergarten to sixth grade are taught “no blame, no shame” rules about abuse and bullying. Within four weeks of participating in these programs, more than 40 percent of schools report at least one child disclosing sexual abuse or bullying.

“Don’t think it’s not happening in our communities, to our kids,” Pendarvis said.

The foundation offers a program to empower adults with the knowledge and skills to protect the children in our communities. To find out more, visit MBFChildSafeyMatters.Org.

The next JWLA luncheon, at 11:45 a.m. Feb. 12 at The River Club, will feature Kevin Gay, who will discuss mass incarceration and its impact on poverty in America. Visit JWLA.org to RSVP.

Click here to find out more Monday, January 19, 10:42 AM EST


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