The first honoree for Make a Difference Month is Ms. Marva Collins. Ms. Collins is a lifelong educator that has devoted her life to educating children that others believed were "unteachable" the Westside Preparatory School was founded in her home and taught learning disabled children. Her techniques became utilized throughout the country and children that would not otherwise have been educator were educator. Ms. Collins is truly a difference maker.
“I'm a teacher. A teacher is someone who leads. There is no magic here. I do not walk on water. I do not part the sea. I just love children.”
― Marva Collins
For Bullies Stink, April is Make a Difference Month, for the next month we will be honoring people that have made a difference throughout society. If you would like to nominate someone, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
I had the honor and the privilege of travelling to Orlando, Florida to participate in the National Conference on Bullying. I must say that the conference was jammed pack with people that were there and willing to learn. It does my heart good to know that so many people are dedicated to the cause of eradicating bullying. In addition to being a participant in some sections, I had the opportunity to present two sessions of my own, "Black Girl Blues, An Examination of Intra Racial Bullying" and "Yo Momma So, the Dozens and Bullying Culture" Both sessions were jammed packed with people that were ready to get down to the business of helping kids and saving lives. We were able to enlighten some and validate others about unspoken rules of being young in today's society. I cannot wait to do it again!
Until next time, keep courageously conversing
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Bobbie Bean, author of "Shattered Dreams, Broken Patriot." While his story was a heart-wrenching tale of all that can go wrong when dealing with a bullying situation; the one thing that stood out in my mind was the importance of conversation. As I read his book I was left with a litany of "what ifs." "What if someone had reported to an adult that Matthew had been attacked on the bus?" "What if someone had reported this incident in the locker room to an adult?" "What if the school nurse had instructed Matthew's parents to seek medical attention?" All of these things could have potentially changed this outcome for the Bean family; but no one spoke up...no one was willing to have a conversation.
Outcomes like this one are why it is necessary to have courageous conversations, why we need to teach our children right from wrong, and why we need to model for them what to do when one meets a wrong. We have to open our mouths and say , "no, this is not ok." And we have to do it soon. Or there will not be much of a "normal" left to fight for.
Until next time, keep courageously conversing..
Join us for the BulliesStink! Skating Party on
Friday, May 10, 2013 from 5:45pm to 8:45 pm.
Glenwood Roller Rink
656 Holbrook Road
Tickets: $10.00 Each
Buy Now @
Bullies Stink is proud to be a part of the School Safety and Advocacy Council's National Conference on Bullying. We will be facilitating two workshops. Stayed tuned for a recap of the event and pictures! Until then, keep courageously conversing.
Join BulliesStink! on January 25th & 26th, 2013 for the Youth Fest of the Collins Cares Initiative, led by Calumet City's 7th Ward Alderman Antoine Collins. Click the flyer or the appointment below for more info.
In partnership with TF-North High School.
Greetings and Happy New Year!
As we embark upon a new year, I cannot help but reflect upon last year. Bullies Stink did some amazing work with kids, schools and families. We launched Bullies Stink Radio powered by LR Media Group, a forum to have courageous conversations. I cannot help but to think that we touched some people and enlightened others. But as we launched our new website today, I could not help but think, we have a new year, we have a new website, but are we changing our mission? Of course not!
All this does is tell me that we need to keep moving forward with the same mission and find new ways to reach more people. We now have a forum on bulliesstink.com where people can come and get help from each other. We have updated our workshops basic, based on your feedback, to create a continuum of services between home and school. We have brought awareness to stories of bullying that have gone unnoticed in the mainstream media. None of this could have been done with you.
Bullies Stink family, I thank you for helping us to grow and I hope that you continue to spread the word about bullying so that we can grow more; and help more people.
I will talk to you soon, until then, keep courageously conversing
Dear Young women growing up in today's society:
As I was walking through the halls of the job today, I was approached by several different students with regard to my hair. My hair has been braided since the beginning of the schoolyear so many students don't know/forgot that I do not chemically relax my hair. The conversation went something like this...
Child: Ms. Strong, why don't you let me perm your hair?
Me: Because I have no desire to chemically straighten my hair.
Child: Do you know how long and pretty your hair would be if you would straighten it; why you gotta wear all those naps on the top of your head.
Me: Because this is how God made me.
Child: If God had really wanted you to look like that, he would not have invented perm. I don't understand how you can walk around looking like that..
I am an adult, and I must admit that the conversation got to me a little bit. I can only imagine what it is like for my children (like mine) who have made the decision to grow up chemical free,in an age where the chemcial relaxer, weave and wig are billion dollar businesses. India Irie wrote a song called, "I am not my hair," in it she talks about the different phases that she has gone through with her hair as a woman of color. I understand her trials, hell, I have been through her trials, but from there, our ideas become divergent because unlike India, I AM my hair. It is the crown upon my head and I feel obligated to treat it as such. I also feel obligated to speak out when I witness young ladies being bullied because they choose not to subscribe to the dominant paradigm of chemical relaxers, weaves, and wigs. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but as I have always argued, you do not have a right to force those opionons on others, nor do you have the right to make anyone feel like less than a person because their beliefs are not necessarily the same as yours. Especially with regard to hair. I am as God made me, I have chosen not to drastically alter that which he has created, this is a choice by which I stand; this is a choice that I argue all African American young ladies have. Please stop taking their power away by making them feel as if they have done something wrong by choosing to be natural. Allow them to make their own choices and when they do, don't malign or ostricize them for them.
Bullying comes in many forms, just because this not one of the most dominant forms, doesn't make it any less bullying.
Be conscious, be aware, and have those courageous conversations...
Bullies Stink! would like to welcome you to our Bullying Awareness Month campaign. In honor of this being Bullying Awareness Month, we will launch a series of courageous conversation starters. We are hoping that you find the information both useful and enlightening.
This week's topic is bullying and the "non-stranger." When most people think of bullying, they think of acquaintances, or people that you have causal contact with outside of a school setting. Rarely do we stop and ask ourselves..."what happens when the bully is someone we know and love? What happens if the bully is a part of our family?" As someone who experience familial bullying, I can tell you that it does happen and it can be the most hurtful; as these are the people that should love you and protect you from the taunting of outsiders.
One fairly recent casestudy on this is an episode of America's Supernanny. Supernanny examines the Carzell family; a family with 10 children and 2 more on the way. A family in which bullying is rampant. Courageous conversations are not something that extend just to outsiders, in order to get along in our on families, sometimes we have to have them there too! I hope that we can start to have them here as well. Take a look at the Carzell family below...
Carolyn Strong, BulliesStink Founder & Author
Carolyn Strong, MAT MEd