"I was bullied in school because of my appearance. I was afraid to walk home from school out of fear for my life. I was ashamed of who I was,” - Michelle Williams
FT. LAUDERDALE, FL –
OCTOBER 29, 2012 (PRWEB) October 29, 2012 -- National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment (NVEEE) officially launched its signature “Not on My Watch” school-wide Bullying Prevention program in South Florida schools. Every quarter, students, parents, faculty and school support staff receive comprehensive and specialized workshops.
The purpose of this program is to provide a research-based and ecologically sensitive school and community-wide bullying prevention program, scalable to individual classrooms up through entire school communities.
NVEEE’s “Not on My Watch” Bullying and Harassment Prevention program teaches social skills, models specific actions, and demonstrates ways of being and behaving that can empower students to reduce peer-harassment as well as self-harm. “Not On My Watch” serves as a catalyst to support a peer-led intervention to alter school culture around bullying.
As research on effective school-wide bullying prevention programs is still being evaluated, top researchers in the school-bullying field are now advocating a social-ecological framework to approach intervention strategies. “Not on My Watch” is an cutting-edge and unique program design that addresses the top 5 primary deficiencies that researchers feel impede school-based program efficacy, as outlined in Swearer, Espelage, Vaillancourt & Hymel (2010): 1) “Reliance on self-report data only.” 2) “Lack of a guiding theoretical framework that informs program development and evaluation.” 3) “Fail to direct interventions at the social ecology that promotes and sustains bullying perpetration, such as peers and families.” 4) “Programs do not address the changing demographics of communities and fail to incorporate factors such as race, disability, and sexual orientation.” and 5) “School-wide programs seldom include direct intervention for the perpetrators.”
When asked, “Which part of the workshop was the most powerful for you? What exercise or conversation changed your view or caused you to reflect on your actions?” the student’s short responses are nothing short of inspiring. “Talking about Anti-Gay bullying, because my brother is gay and every time he tells me something about being bullied it makes me cry.” “The one where they taught me how to apologize.” “Hearing the true stories.” The most inspiring of them all came from a student who has been previously labeled a “bully.” “I’m never going to bully anyone again. If I see someone getting bullied I’m going to help them.”
Michelle William can relate to these students as well as thousands of others who are bullied, as she was often a target of bullying. "I was bullied in school because of my appearance. I was afraid to walk home from school out of fear for my life. I was ashamed of who I was,” quotes Michelle. Michelle's influence as a positive role model makes her a perfect addition to the NVEEE team. Her philanthropic efforts and commitment to using her voice to show today’s youth that people care about the issues they are facing, including bullying, violence and youth suicide. In addition to recording music and acting, Williams is active in her community and several charities. She currently serves as an ambassador for the American Heart Association's Power to End Stroke campaign. Michelle will be an integral part of NVEEE’s Mentoring and Peace Ambassador Program, and will also be aiding in fundraising campaigns for NVEEE’s “Not On My Watch” Bullying Prevention Program.
“It is a privilege to be a part of the NVEEE team, and it is my responsibility to be a voice for those who have no one to speak for them and empower them to stand up and speak out. No one should have to tolerate being bullied," says, Michelle.
For more details about NVEEE’s “Not on My Watch” School-wide Bullying & Harassment Prevention program, visit http://www.nveee.org/bullying-prevention/
National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment (NVEEE), established in October 2009, is a community-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent bullying, violence, and suicide among youth, families and communities through direct service, mentoring and prevention education.
NVEEE has a proven track record of educating and empowering students, parents and teachers to learn and take preventative actions regarding bullying, teen suicide, and violence among youth and young adults. Education is an essential component of how NVEEE engages families and communities in moving towards social change.
In South Florida, NVEEE has reached thousands of students through its signature “Not On My Watch” Bullying & Harassment Prevention Workshops.
About Michelle Williams:
A multi-award winning international singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress, Michelle is best known as one-third member of the record-breaking R&B and Pop sensation, Destiny's Child, one of the world's best-selling female groups of all time. Throughout her career in Destiny’s Child, Michelle explored solo terrain by releasing two gospel recordings: the award-winning Heart To Yours (2002) and Do You Know (2004). At the end of 2008, Michelle created a fresh and innovative sound on her pop album entitled Unexpected. As an actress, Michelle has played on Broadway’s “Aida” (2003), “The Color Purple” (2007) and London’s West End production of “Chicago” (2009), all to critical acclaim and audience raves. In 2006, she took to the television screen for hotly touted, groundbreaking multi-episode run in the popular UPN sitcom “Half & Half.” Aside from her work with NVEEE, Michelle is also a passionate spokesperson for TERI (Training Education & Research Institute) and the American Heart Association’s Power to End Stroke. Back on the music front, Michelle plans to release her latest work; an R&B/Inspirational album slated for release in February 2013.