Special Needs Network and County Supervisor Host County’s Largest Anti-Bullying Event

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A Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization has partnered with the County of Los Angeles to host an anti-bullying summit to empower students of LA County’s 2nd District to take a stand against bullying and school violence.

Special Needs Children
It’s time for every community in our country to come together and teach our children the importance of being kind

Special Needs Network (SNN) and the County of Los Angeles are providing an opportunity for local students to learn more about the devastating effects of bullying during the iStand4Peace summit on Friday, April 12. The event will take place in the Town and Gown Hall on the campus of the University of Southern California from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Areva Martin, Esq., SNN’s co-founder and president, will welcome attendees and encourage them to take a stand against bullying. The event includes a packed agenda of motivational speakers, including 13-year-old singer, songwriter and author Shanaya Fastje, who will share her personal bullying story to the anticipated crowd of more than 350 students.

“Bullying is a national epidemic but teaching our children about right and wrong starts at home,” says Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, who is also a former high school teacher. “We are grateful that Areva and her team approached us about being involved with this important event.”

In addition to hearing from motivational speakers and participating in anti-bullying and non-violence workshops, students will watch “The Bully Effect,” a documentary produced by CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“It’s time for every community in our country to come together and teach our children the importance of being kind,” says Martin. “The effort to stop bullying starts with one’s self. That is the message we are trying to convey to all students including educating them on the devastating effects of bullying on students with autism and other special needs.”

The iStand4Peace summit is part of SNN’s 7th annual Tools for Transformation Conference; a two-day event that addresses critical issues facing children with autism, ADHD, mental health issues and a range of learning disabilities. The conference attracts 2,000 participants over two days and is free and open to the public. To learn more, visit http://www.specialneedsnetwork.org.

Special Needs Network (SNN) is based in Los Angeles and is California’s leading grassroots autism advocacy organization. SNN was established to help families faced with autism and other developmental disabilities. The organization focuses on raising public awareness, impacting public policy, increasing education and access to resources for families, children and adults. To learn more, visit http://www.specialneedsnetwork.org.

Mark Ridley-Thomas represents Los Angeles County’s Second District and has served as county supervisor since 2008. He is the first African-American to serve in that role. His legislative work addresses a broad range of issues with implications for economic and workforce development, health care, public safety, education, budget accountability, consumer protection and civic participation. He has served in public office for more than 20 years and received his doctorate in social ethics and policy from the University of Southern California. To learn more about Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, visit http://ridley-thomas.lacounty.gov/index.php/supervisors-biography/.

Areva Martin, Esq. is a mother of an autistic son, multi-award-winning Harvard-trained attorney, author, on-air legal expert, and nationally recognized autism, disability and child's rights advocate. She is the co-founder and president of Special Needs Network, California’s leading grassroots autism advocacy organization, as well as managing partner of the LA-based law firm, Martin & Martin, LLP where she practices special education, labor and employment, and disability discrimination. To learn more about Areva, visit http://www.arevamartin.com.

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