Are you ready to speak up against bullying?
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Cartoon Network is challenging the public to tell the world "I speak up" in a chorus of 1 million videos. Participants are invited to say those three words into their mobile devices. Then share their videos at www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com, as well as to their own social media platforms using the hashtag ISpeakUp.
The drive is kicking off Cartoon Network's annual Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign. It will culminate during its Speak Up Week, Sept. 29 through Oct. 3. That in turn paves the way for National Bullying Prevention Month in October.
Here's the goal, as Cartoon Network puts it. To collect 1 million user-generated videos that unite the voices of kids, parents, educators, celebrities and government officials, each committing to speak up when someone gets bullied.
Selected videos from participants will become part of campaign spots appearing on Cartoon Network, its digital platforms and Boomerang, the network said. Each day an onscreen "I Speak Up" tally will update how many participants have gone on record with videos and posts. The website includes directions for sharing an "I Speak Up" video.
Joining in the outreach are partner organizations. They include Boys and Girls Clubs of America, 4-H Clubs, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Federation of Teachers and the Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention.
"We think it will be incredibly empowering for kids to know that a million people out there are speaking up for them," says Alice Cahn of Cartoon Network.
While the video campaign is new this year, the network's anti-bullying initiative began in 2010. According to Cahn, it arose from research by the network in which kids said that bullying could be most easily addressed, if they only had others' support.
Among the kids' messages, according to Cahn: "It's not so much that I'm getting picked on, but I feel so terrible when my friends are picked on and I don't know what to do."
The campaign targets youngsters of elementary grades through early middle school. Cahn says that's when when getting bully-savvy can serve them well into high school and beyond.
Critical thinking challenge: Why is it more effective to unite the voices of kids, parents, educators, celebrities and government officials if its only kids that are victims? How does bullying affect people other than kids?