Project Inspire (PI) has proactively taken a creative approach to combating bullying and ensuring our youth know what it is to love others and themselves. This past summer, PI partnered with Suited for Success, in Suitland, MD, to present at its Summer Performing Arts Camp, Polished & Empowered “Creating Young Ladies of Distinction.” During a session entitled, “Dance for Life: Moving Forward for Self and Others,” led by Executive Director, Daphne Valcin, girls ages 8-14, created artistic visual expressions of negative perceptions of body image they have heard in society and discussed how they could respond positively to such images. Workshops like these are extremely important for the youth in our communities.
National bullying statistics are on the rise. A 2014 survey on NoBullying.Com, reports that 1 in 3 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school, while over 70 percent of teens have witnessed bullying. Eighty three percent of girls, and 79 percent of boys report being bullied either in school or online. While these numbers are alarming, the most disheartening aspect of these findings is that so many instances of bullying go unreported.*
Our interactive workshop, which provided each participant with an opportunity to engage in individual and group reflection, fostered positive self-esteem and encouraged students to confidently assert themselves. By promoting a healthy sense of self, Project Inspire continues to commission our youth to “fight” fire with knowledge. Sure, bullies can be disciplined, but a more promising course of action lies not in teaching the bully a lesson, but instead, in empowering all of our youth to love themselves and others, to spark yet another trend, rooted in acceptance and mutual respect.
Post written by Keisha R., Project Inspire Social Media Coordinator