“Bully” filmmakers launch “The Bully Project: 1 Million Kids” to get schoolkids free access to the film
The filmmakers of “Bully,” a documentary distributed by The Weinstein Company, have announced the launch of “The Bully Project: 1 Million Kids,” a collaborative national education initiative that fosters sustainable bullying prevention.
The goal is to help inspire change in schools by providing free access to the movie in theaters within an educational framework, according to a news release. The program offers young people access to the film “Bully,” currently showing in theaters nationwide, in a supportive, communal environment, by providing a safe space to experience and reflect on the stories in the film. Through “1 Million Kids,” educators receive free materials and training focused on preventing bullying and promoting empathy.
All of this is made possible by the partners and funders, comprised of leading educational organizations and funders including Facing History And Ourselves, DonorsChoose.org, First Student, JPMorgan Chase, Sears, Townsend Press and the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust.
Facing History and Ourselves, the premiere national educator organization combating bigotry and nurturing democracy, serves as the education partner for “1 Million Kids” and is providing a robust viewers guide and online workshop for teachers.
“We’ve been helping to create safe schools and inspire young people to take responsibility for their world for more than 30 years,” said Facing History and Ourselves Executive Director Margot Stern Strom in the release. “’Bully’ speaks powerfully to all of us as it tells the life-altering experiences of the victims of bullying. It challenges us to recognize how our actions and daily choices impact others. Through teaching empathy, we can change our behavior and take personal and social responsibility for the lives of others.”
“’Bully’ is both a devastating portrait of when we fail our children, and a clarion call for us all to take action and make America’s schools safe” said The Bully Project Executive Director Patricia Finneran in the release. “Lee Hirsch’s film is the centerpiece of this campaign, and we are excited to work with him to achieve his vision for ’1 Million Kids’ to take part. Together we will get beyond responding to the crisis and focus on bullying prevention.”
“’Bully’ ends with the idea that ‘it all starts with one.’ Change starts with one, and builds. When we reach 1 million kids with this project, we will have built a powerful movement that marks the beginning of the end of bullying,” says “Bully” director Lee Hirsch in the release.
“Young people are leading this movement. I am honored to be working with such powerful partners and supporting youth with a long-term commitment to social and emotional learning. Now, we can envision a time when every child has a safe place to go to school”
“The Bully Project” includes partnerships designed to engage young people and inspire them to do their own bully projects. “In partnering with ‘The Bully Project,’ our goal is for one million kids to stop bullying by spreading empathy through their own, youth-led ideas and initiatives,” said Bill Drayton, Founder and CEO of Ashoka, an organization that focuses exclusively on launching leading social entrepreneurs and helping them succeed. “Our vision is for everyone to be a successful, contributing member of society by mastering empathy and by giving oneself the permission to create positive change. This will be the key factor for success in every community, from a school to a company to an entire country.”
“The Bully Project” is the social action campaign inspired by “Bully,” the feature film directed by Lee Hirsch and released by The Weinstein Company. The movie, which features three families who now live in Oklahoma, focuses on bullying in schools; the project is building a movement to stop bullying, create safe schools and promote caring communities. The project provides online resources and uses the power of partnership among non-profits, educational institutions, corporations and community leaders to foster lasting change. The educators’ curriculum for the film, “A Guide to the film Bully: Fostering Empathy and Action in Schools,” was developed by Facing History and Ourselves and is available free online. It draws together diverse constituencies including the NEA, AFT, the Harvard Graduate School of Education; the National Center for Learning Disabilities; LGBTQ activists and others working to ensure every child has a safe learning environment. The North American Association of Child Helplines launched 121Help.ME in collaboration with “The Bully Project.” Creative alliances with Ashoka, DoSomething.org and America’s Promise Alliance, and the platform Change.org are working with the campaign to reach America’s youth. Lead project supporters are the BeCause Foundation, Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, Fledgling Fund, JPMorgan Chase, National Center for Learning Disabilities, Sears, Sundance Institute, and Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, with additional support from Cinereach and the Kevin and Donna Grueneich Foundation.
For more information, go to www.thebullyproject.com. To read my “Bully” review, click here.