Creative Community Unites Against Bullying
by Ann Lewnes
posted on 10-07-2014
I remember her so well. A brainy girl with thick glasses and a high-pitched voice. The girl everybody ran away from in the school yard because she was “contaminated.” She was pushed, chased and spit on. And I, and countless other students and teachers, stood by idly.
This is a common story. An estimated 13 million kids per day are bullied. Bullying is a hateful phenomenon, which, tragically, has been exacerbated by technology.
The horrors of bullying were captured in the haunting documentary, BULLY, directed by film-maker Lee Hirsch. Lee himself was bullied as a boy and has since gone on to found The BULLY Project, a non-profit dedicated to stamping out bullying.
Kids who are “different” in any way are frequently magnets for bullying. And kids who are creative often fall into that category. As the leading provider of technology for creative people, Adobe has an opportunity to galvanize the global creative community to unite against bullying.
To that end, today we are launching The BULLY Project Mural. The mural is a digital mosaic which will stitch together the personal stories and artistic expressions of people who have witnessed or been victims of bullying. We started the mural with the work of 16 well-known artists from around the world – with contributions from across Europe, the US, and as far away as Egypt and Argentina. We hope that thousands of people will contribute to this online project from today on. The work you will see is incredibly moving, and I’m so grateful to the artists who worked under impossible deadlines to create and share it. I am also humbled by the efforts of Adobe creative director AJ Joseph, and social media strategist, Matt Rozen, whose passion and hard work brought this project to life. This has been a labor of love and purpose for everyone involved. Please visit www.thebullyprojectmural.com to see the mural, view and share the artwork and stories, and add your own.
In addition to this project, Adobe has also been a proud supporter of the Ad Council’s national Bullying Prevention public service campaign, which began in October 2012. The campaign seeks to arm parents with the tools and information they need to teach their children how to be more than a bystander when they witness bullying. Two of the powerful television public service ads use footage generously donated by Hirsch. There’s also an online bullying prevention module, where parents can learn the simple things their kids can do to help stop bullying.
Bullying destroys lives. The BULLY Project Mural is a small way to heighten awareness about the horrors of bullying and to provide those who may have been impacted personally to have their stories told. It is our hope that this small gesture, in concert with larger efforts like those of the Advertising Council and The BULLY Project, etc., will help stop bullying.