Campaign seeks to bring kindness to ‘Girl World’
Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 01:02
No matter how old someone is, bullying can be a major problem, especially in the "Girl World," which is where the Kind Campaign comes in. The campaign and its founders made a stop at UNC Tuesday to help students learn how to cope with bullying.
Lauren Parsekian and Molly Stroud started the Kind Campaign a few years ago after sharing their personal experiences with each other concerning bullying during adolescence.
The women made a documentary following them from state to state as they spoke with young women about bullying in the "Girl World."
The documentary shows that neither era nor a woman's age really makes a difference in the bullying world. Bullying has been around for a long time, and women bully and gossip all through their lives.
The documentary also points out that while television and technology may make bullying worse, these media are not to blame and pointing fingers at them will do no good.
"The documentary was well-done and inspiring," said Riana Teagarden, a University of Northern Colorado junior. "It brought up interesting points about media and its effects on women."
Neither Parsekian nor Stroud said they set out on this campaign to end bullying; what both of them want is to give information and resources to help young people cope with the effects.
They also said they hope that through their documentary, presentations and stories, they can help people choose kindness and stop making bullying seem like a rite of passage.
"Know that you're not alone and you have support from everyone in the world because we've all been through it," Parsekian said to those who have been bullied.
The idea that no one is alone in bullying is something that seemed to strike a chord for many of the students at the presentation. Every person in attendance raised their hand to say that they had been bullied or had bullied someone else.
"Find the courage to apologize in a meaningful way," Stroud said to those who have bullied others.
"I really liked the part about realizing everyone has a story because it puts things in a new perspective," said Sadie Downs, a freshman.
At the end of every presentation, Parsekian and Stroud do an interactive activity with the audience.
In this activity, they have the audience write Kind Pledges, Kind Cards and Kind Apologies.
Kind Pledges are everyone's chances to say how they will be kind to others and try to stop bullying.
Kind Cards are an opportunity to let someone know how they have been kind to you and how it has affected you as a person.
Kind Apologies are a chance to make a personal apology to someone for something a student did or said.
Students wrote about a myriad of things in their Kinds, such as pledging not to make assumptions, to stop cyber bullying and to stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves.
Students also wrote "thank you" notes to those who were there for them in capacities like being a good roommate, being a friend and being an amazing person.
For more information about the Kind Campaign, visit www.kindcampaign.com.