Recognizing bullying as a health, educational and legal issue that affects millions of kids and families each year, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have joined Cartoon Network’s recently announced “I Speak Up” call-to-action asking one million people to upload and share “I Speak Up” mobile videos to help fight bullying. The pro-active fall campaign serves as a focal point to Cartoon Network’s Speak Up Week (Sept. 29-Oct. 3), the latest phase of its award-winning “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” initiative, which leads into National Bullying Prevention Month.
Both officials have shared their personal videos at www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com and are using the hashtag #ISpeakUp to encourage others to unite with them in supporting this effort. The goal is to collect one million user-generated videos that unite the voices of kids, parents, educators, celebrities and government officials all saying “I Speak Up,” demonstrating that through combined efforts toward a united cause, speaking up is one of the most effective ways to help bring a bullying situation to an end.
Select videos that are uploaded to www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com will become part of new campaign spots to appear on Cartoon Network, its digital platforms and Boomerang throughout October. Participants are also encouraged to share their videos on their own social media platforms using #ISpeakUp to help spread the word.
“Bullying and harassment can have devastating effects on kids of all ages,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “That’s why, alongside our partners at the Department of Education, the Justice Department is striving to reduce abusive behavior against and among students of every grade level. We’re committed to promoting safe and inclusive learning environments for all of America’s young people. I’m proud to join Cartoon Network in calling on every student, parent, and educator to pitch in, and do their part, to speak up against bullying.”
“Our schools must be safe and nurturing places for every child. We can’t make excuses for any behavior that makes our students feel unwelcome or afraid,” Secretary Duncan said. “Putting an end to bullying will take all of us, and I’m thrilled to partner with Cartoon Network in this important effort to encourage all kids—and adults—to take a stand.”
Other notable voices who have shared their support so far include: Howie Mandel (America’s Got Talent, Deal With It), Scooter Braun (School Boy Records), Jason Beghe (Chicago P.D.), Sam Champion (Weather Channel) Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer (Franklin & Bash), Henry Winkler (Childrens Hospital), Grant Hill (NBA TV’s Inside Stuff), Reggie Miller (NBA on TNT), Rick Fox (NBA GameTime), Wilson Cruz (Red Band Society), Anderson Cooper (Anderson Cooper 360), John C. McGinley and Skylar Astin (Ground Floor), Robin Meade (HLN Morning Express), Michaela Pereira (CNN New Day), Curtis Armstrong and Robert Carradine (King of the Nerds) and Michael Carbonaro (The Carbonaro Effect).
“We are grateful to Attorney General Holder and Secretary of Education Duncan for their leadership and long-term commitment to end bullying,” said Alice Cahn, Cartoon Network vice president of social responsibility. “The Federal Partnership on Bullying Prevention and this Administration have provided educators, community leaders, parents and youth with practical tools and the inspiration to put them into action. We are proud to speak up with them, demonstrating the power entertainment media has to motivate positive change.”
For anyone interested in sharing their own “I Speak Up” video, easy instructions are available at www.StopBullyingSpeakUp.com, along with recommendations for optimum video results. All participants will be asked to sign a digital release form to clear use of the video for all on-air, online and/or social media opportunities. Users under the age of 18 will be encouraged to ask a parent for permission and for help in submitting a video.