In a major move to combat bullying and violence, a one-day Anti-Bullying Conference and Youth Peace rally will be held at Chicago State University (CSU) on November 2nd, 2018.
Sponsored by CSU’s Phi Delta Kappa Chapter and the Bullying Prevention and Awareness Inc., the event will be attended by educators, professionals, social workers, authors, parents, students, and youth development leaders. Several well-known experts on the subject of bullying and violence will lead workshops and address the rally. The theme of the event is “Youth Engagement and Empowerment: Securing A Bright and Safe Future.”
“We will be hearing from experts and also from youths who are the real victims of bullying in schools to equip them with the tools to deal with the problem,” said Dr. Dorothy Thompson, the anti-bullying group’s executive director.
“We will be building on our experience with working with adults last year by including the youths because bullying is not only increasing but tending to be violent among them.”
According to federal statistics, “1 out of 5 students admits to being a bully or doing some bullying. Illinois is among the ten states with the worst record of bullying.”
Dr. Maudestine McLeary, CSU’s Phi Delta Kappa president, also deplored the increasing wave of bullying. “Many of our young people are affected by the incidence of bullying,” she said. McLeary indicated that her organization fully supports the conference and youth rally at CSU. “We look forward to this event and hope all our members and the community would participate.”
CSU’s event will be the second annual conference organized by the anti-bullying group. Its first conference was held at the National Louis University last year and attracted approximately 150 adult participants and presenters from Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Georgia.
This year, the African American Family Research Institute (AAFRI) is partnering with the event organizers to expand its scope.
“My organization has decided to participate in this important movement to help equip both youths and adults with resources to help address the bullying problem,” said Dr. Terry Solomon, AAFRI’s executive director.
She said her organization expects to provide experts for the conference workshops. In addition, she will help mobilize social workers to attend the conference for professional credit. Teachers and administrators also get professional development credit for participating.
Adra Young, the author of the book, “Misfits,” is spearheading the efforts for the Youth Day activities. She said workshops, poetry and art competitions with prizes would precede the youth peace rally. Participating youth and students will be required to pre-register for the event and be accompanied by adults from their schools or groups.
A spiritual component of bullying and violence is also being explored to help youth cope with the problem from that perspective. Entertainment at the event will be provided by Global Girls, a Chicago-based group that performed at last year’s event. Vendors including agencies dealing with bullying, violence, and mental health will also be present at the event.
Persons interested in volunteering for the activities are welcomed to apply. For registration and more information call (800) 491-8182 or visitwww.bullyingprevention365.org.