End online and offline bullying at your school on #Day1. Tyler Clementi Foundation's Annual Upstander Legacy Celebration Put Bullying on the National Agenda!
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Welcome to the Tyler Clementi Foundation

  • Featured Post

    Summer Concert Series Raises $30K to Prevent Bullying

    Major musical talent came together this summer on Cape Cod to raise $30K for bullying prevention work done by the Tyler Clementi Foundation. Producer Mark Cortale organized a summer-long concert series to help raise funds for the Tyler Clementi Foundation with star-studded performances in both Provincetown and Martha’s Vineyard.

    These performances raised an incredible $30,000 for the Foundation, which will be put towards the organization’s research-based, dynamic anti-bullying programming, such as #Day1 and the Tyler Clementi Institute for CyberSafety at the New York Law School.

    Mark Cortale, Patti Lupone and TCF Executive Director Sean Kosofsky at the Series' Final Performance

    Six of the concerts were hosted and music directed by Sirius XM Radio Star Seth Rudetsky and the performances included:

    Town Hall (Provincetown, MA):

    • May 29, 2016: INDIGO GIRLS
    • July 3, 2016: CHEYENNE JACKSON
    • July 11, 2016 – VANESSA WILLIAMS
    • July 29 & 30, 2016 – JUDY KUHN
    • August 7, 2016: MATTHEW MORRISON
    • August 16, 2016: KRISTIN CHENOWETH
    • August 21, 2016: AUDRA MCDONALD and WILL SWENSON
    • September 4, 2016: PATTI LUPONE

    Martha’s Vineyard PAC (Martha’s Vineyard, MA)

    • July 9 – VANESSA WILLIAMS
    • July 16 – MEGAN HILTY
    • August 14 – KRISTIN CHENOWETH
    • August 22 – AUDRA MCDONALD
    • September 2 – PATTI LUPONE

    The Town Hall concerts in Provincetown were sponsored by Cape Air, Anchor Inn Beach House, Ptown Bikes, Loveland, Wildflower, Ross’ Grill and the Provincetown Gym. The Martha’s Vineyard concerts were sponsored by Cape Air, Harbor View Hotel and Hy-Line Cruises.

    Want to support the work of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, donate here.


  • Featured Post

    Baltimore Ravens’ Carl Davis Joins Stevenson High School Athletes For #Day1 Declaration

    #Upstander and Baltimore Ravens’ player Carl Davis leads his alma mater’s athletes from across their teams in their #Day1 Declaration, joining many other programs in the Utica School District.

    Have your college, university, school, organization or workplace take a stand against bullying with our free, easy-to-use #Day1 toolkit. Download it now


  • Featured Post

    Toni’s Story: Living Beyond Being Bullied and Beaten

    Kidda's Story: Her Burn From Bullying Incident

    If you are facing any kind of stress, harassment or feelings of hopelessness, don’t wait another moment to reach out for help. Here are some great organizations that can help you now: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), The Trevor Project (1-866-488-7386) and the Jed Foundation

    During my 7th grade year, I trusted a friend with one of my deepest secrets. I explained to this friend that I was a lesbian. At first, I felt great! After all, I finally had a friend who I could share this part of my life with. However, one day we had a discussion about it in a private message on Myspace. Come to find out her friends had gotten onto her Facebook, saw our conversation, and before I knew it, my conversation was forwarded to almost everyone we went to school with. I went into school the next day to see kids laughing at me while I walked by, to hear comments such as “Ew she’s gross!” or “Oh, look here comes the lesbo.”

    2016-09-tile-tonis-story-1080x1080In the following days, I decided to pretend to be sick so my Mom wouldn’t make me go to school. That plan eventually had to end after four days of not going to school.

    When I got back, the situation had worsened. Not only did the whole 7th grade know but the entire 8th grade knew. There was no escape. My worst fear had happened! I had already made a big decision coming out to one person, but to be forced out to every single one of my classmates was unfathomable.

    As time went on, I felt beaten down. I wished I didn’t have to go to school, and when I would get home, I would spend hours in my room crying. A thought I would often ponder was, “Maybe the pain would end if I killed myself. Maybe people would care then.”

    There was no one I could turn to for support. My family was homophobic at the time, and the teachers stood by and witnessed me being bullied. Even after I told the guidance department and the principle multiple times, it did me no good. I had even been told by my guidance counselor, “Well, Toni, you should have expected this. If you didn’t want anyone to know you shouldn’t have told anyone.” It was that blame that finally silenced me. I began thinking it was my fault, and that I deserved everything that happened.

    Make Junior and High School Free of Bullying starting on #Day1

    Download your free two page #Day1 Toolkit with more information about the Day 1 Campaign: how it works, how it will help your school and how you can get in touch with us to share your Day 1 Stories!

    As things were getting progressively worse for me, I still didn’t know what was to come. One day I went to the gym locker room to change for gym class. As always, the teacher would leave us there to change by ourselves and have us line up after we changed. This day was different. These girls had started picking on me while I was in the locker room, and they began to push and hold me down as I tried to fight. One of the girls had a lighter. She took out the lighter, held it upside down and burned my arm with it. I’ve shared the picture with you of the scar that remains.

    After they were done, I felt defeated. After that, I still kept silent. After all, I had been told what was done to me was my fault.

    Throughout the rest of my school years, I was bullied, and I had very few friends to reach out to for support. I never went to prom, never joined any teams, even though I was great at softball.

    I am now twenty-two years old, and I realize that what was happening to me was not my fault! It was the school’s job to protect me, but instead they blamed the victim. If the school had followed their anti-bullying policy and had kept a better watch on students, I believe I could have had a better childhood.

    Do you have a bullying story to share?

    Your voice is important. It’s critical that real people hear the real harms and implications of bullying so that we can all understand the importance of standing up for those who need it and preventing hostility before it claims another victim.

    By sharing my story, I hope to empower some of you! It makes me cringe every time I hear someone committed suicide because of bullying. Everyone who is picked on has worth. I want say to those who have been bullied or are being bullied: You are not useless, you do not deserve hate, and most importantly, you deserve to be in a place where you feel safe. Hang in there! There is a way better life waiting for you just around the corner.”


    The views or experiences expressed are solely those of the contributor or interview subject and do not represent the views of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, its staff or board. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the material, please contact the Tyler Clementi Foundation, and we appreciate your support and commitment to end bullying starting on #Day1.


  • Featured Post

    Villanova’s AGD Sorority Makes #Day1 Declaration

    Led by Paige McNamara, President of Alpha Gamma Delta at Villanova, this chapter of the sorority took a clear stand against online and offline bullying and harassment with the #Day1 Declaration.

    Have your college, university, school, organization or workplace take a stand against bullying with our free, easy-to-use #Day1 toolkit. Download it now

    Villanova's Alpha Gamma Delta Makes a #Day1 Declaration

    Villanova's Alpha Gamma Delta Makes a #Day1 Declaration

    Villanova's Alpha Gamma Delta Makes a #Day1 Declaration

    Villanova's Alpha Gamma Delta Makes a #Day1 Declaration

    Villanova's Alpha Gamma Delta Makes a #Day1 Declaration


  • Featured Post

    Meet Upstander Jason Stuart

    Portrait of Jason Stuart Photo by Kevin McIntyre
    How do you define bullying?
    Another person making advances on someone who he or she feels is inferior to them.

    How do you know when you see bullying?
    When a person physically or mentally obuses another person thought violence, verbal or cyber and attacks the other person character or being.

    Have you ever been bullied? If so, could you share what happened?
    Yes. I was bullied my entire childhood for being gay, Jewish and just ‘different’. I was physically and mentally abused most of my Elementary, Junior High and High School. I was passed along on a school bus like I was a football, hit in the face, teased, my house was dirt bombed, my self esteem was gone. But the worst was when someone scraped the word “Fag” lightly on my locker with a nail, and I saw it everyday in Junior High. Never said a word to anyone about until I was 30 years old.

    What do you think is the scariest thing about being bullied?
    The fear of violence. The humiliation from bullying as a child and teenager stays with you even as you are growing up.

    2016-09-tile-upstander-jason-stuart-1080x1080So much of your career has been as a actor and comedian. How would you say humor helps deal with aggressive bullies who have no self awareness or don’t seem to care who they hurt?
    It keep them at bay. I made the joke first so they could not hurt me. But it still did hurt. As an adult, you have to learn to communicate with people and learn that being funny or a working actor is not the only way to get people to like you. Sometimes, they just like you for who you are as a person.

    Do you think bullies can change? If so, any ideas how?
    Yes. It’s like if you could go back in time with your adult self and talk to your teenage self and put your arm around him and let him know, “It shall pass. This will not define you. You will survive it.”

    You have a role as a plantation owner in the film biopic of Nat Turner, Birth of a Nation. What was it like portraying a character whose behavior is so abhorrent?
    I did not think of anything else but my character’s needs and wants. I only read the script once or twice but I did a lot of research. When I saw the film, even I was shocked at what my character caused. It made me cry and get angry at the atrocities of what we have done to others in the human race.

    How do you feel roles like this prompt discussion in establishing greater empathy?
    It’s a gift to be a part of a film that will change the perspective of the way we look at slavery. The film is from filmmaker Nate Parker’s years of research and his soul. With that said, the story will be told from a whole new line of thinking: the African-American point of view.

    Your web series Mentor got a lot of great reviews. Not many people talk about aging in the LGBT world, but do you feel like community spaces are welcoming to more mature individuals? How could they be more so?
    We need to include stories of people over 40 and 50 in more prominent roles. We need to be inclusive and pen to the idea that people are interested in history and age. Meryl Steep said it best on “60 Minutes” a few years ago. She said, “We told people over 50 not to go to the movies, that there was nothing for them.” That’s just not true. We treat straight, white, heterosexual, Christian-appearing men with privilege. We let them in first in all walks of life while the rest of us wait in line for our turn. Those men don’t wait in line: they just walk in. The rest of us need to do that, too.

    If you could do one thing to stop all bullying, what would you do?
    Talk, discuss, make consequences for their actions. You do not have to name call and attack people to get your point across. But you can state the facts and ask the other side for their opinion. Listen, breathe and be respectful. Even if you disagree.


    Jason Stuart is one of entertainment industry’s most prolific character actors, who’s also an outrageous openly gay stand-up comedian. He has close to 200 film & TV shows to his credit, including this year’s, The Birth Of A Nation by filmmaker Nate Parker. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

    Photo by Kevin Mcintyre


    The views or experiences expressed are solely those of the contributor or interview subject and do not represent the views of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, its staff or board. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the material, please contact the Tyler Clementi Foundation, and we appreciate your support and commitment to end bullying starting on #Day1.


  • Featured Post

    Two Students Give Their #Day1 Experience a “Thumbs Up”

    Two Marcellus Elementary School students Mindy and Ellie share with their teacher Katie Markovich why they stood up to bullying on #Day1 and how it helped them become #Upstanders in their school.

    The entire Marcellus, Michigan, school district joined on #Day1 to end bullying this school year. A whole community of #Upstanders!

    Have your college, university, school, organization or workplace take a stand against bullying with our free, easy-to-use #Day1 toolkit. Download it now


  • Featured Post

    Math Teacher Shares Her Classroom’s #Day1 Experience

    Find out why math instructor and #Upstander Marwah Farhat from Fordson High School (Dearborn, Michigan) made school’s start her classroom’s #Day1.

    Not only did she have each homeroom state the #Day1 Declaration, but she joined it with exercises to help her students see the importance of how we must all stand up to end bullying. One key exercise had students reflect on their own identities and articulate how they really are so different from how so many people see them. Check out these drawings from that exercise:
     

     
    Have your college, university, school, organization or workplace take a stand against bullying with our free, easy-to-use #Day1 toolkit. Download it now


  • Featured Post

    Official Statement from the Clementi Family Regarding New Jersey State Appeals Court Decision

    The following statement may be attributed to Joe and Jane Clementi, parents of Tyler Clementi as a result of September 9th’s New Jersey State Appeals Court Decision overturning some charges against Dharun Ravi. This statement is not on behalf of the Tyler Clementi Foundation.


    “Joe and I are not legal experts so we cannot interpret the law. All we can do is try to understand and deal with are the facts as we know them now.

    We know that Tyler’s private moments were stolen from him and used to humiliate him. His life was forever affected and the lives of those who knew and loved him have been forever changed.

    In light of today’s decision, we will do what we encourage all people to do before they push that send button, and that is to pause and consider the implications of their message. Does it encourage and build someone up or does it destroy and harm another person?

    Our world moves very fast which pushes us to be impulsively spontaneous and sometimes harsh.

    Today’s decision shows us how much more work there is to be done, and will push us forward with stronger determination to create a kinder more empathic society where every person is valued and respected. We will continue to work even harder sharing Tyler’s story through the Tyler Clementi Foundation and our many partners.”

    —Jane and Joe Clementi, Sept. 9, 2016


  • Featured Post

    Expert Tips: Supporting Loved Ones of a Suicide Victim

    Hands clasped for support.

    When a person loses a loved one to suicide, the effects differ from other forms of loss. Suicide is an intentional action taken by a person who no longer felt the desire to live, although unfortunately these decisions are often made during extreme emotional distress. When you learn that someone you love was in enough pain to commit suicide, the experience of grief can be unique compared to that felt following the loss of a loved one to an illness or other cause of death.

    Unfortunately, losing a loved one to suicide also leads to feelings of guilt as survivors contemplate whether or not they could have prevented this tragedy. Support from friends and family is crucial in recovery from the death of a loved one. Here are a few ways you can support someone who has lost a loved one to suicide.


    If you or someone you know needs support immediately…

    Please contact one of our program partners through their available hotlines.

    The Trevor Project, 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386)

    National Suicide Prevention Center, 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

    More resources

    1. Keep Them Social

    Social withdrawal and depression are common responses to a suicide. Unfortunately, these are also the responses that foster suicide in the family members. People who have lost someone they care about to suicide are more likely to attempt suicide themselves and social isolation is a very common risk factor. So, to prevent further tragedy, keep the person social to a degree. Don’t force them to go to a party or club but do try to get them to talk, see other people, and do relaxing activities.

    Yoga, walking, and hiking are all great options for keeping a person active and prevent withdrawal. You may even want to consider pet therapy. Spending time with loving animals has been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

    2. Foster Open Communication

    Suicide is a taboo topic in Western society, making it difficult for people who have lost someone to suicide to talk about their grief. Talking about emotions is very important when coping with a highly emotional event such as suicide. Loved ones of the deceased often feel guilt, many times blaming themselves for not recognizing the warning signs and taking action to stop their loved one from following through.

    It is important that these feelings of guilt are not internalized. Many suicides occur because the person did not get the professional help they needed for an underlying issue such as depression, alcohol abuse or drug addiction. These are things an untrained person could not be expected to recognize or treat.

    3. Learn What You Should NOT Say

    It is very common for well-meaning people to say the wrong thing and make the loss even harder. You should do a little research, reading other people’s experiences and what did and didn’t help. You should never try to trivialize the loss with things like “Well, he had some problems.” The pain a loved one feels should not be shrugged off, regardless of the circumstances.

    As tempting as it is, you should also avoid offering advice unless you are asked. Implying you have any understanding of what the person should do will not be received well. Even if you are also a suicide survivor, your experience is unique to you. While many survivors experience similar phases of grief, the grieving and recovery process is not identical for any two individuals. Wait for the person to ask for advice.

    Avoid making negative statements about the person. Telling a loved one, “She chose to leave you,” helps no one and can make things much worse. There are a number of other potentially harmful remarks you could make, but instead, stick to the basics: “I’m sorry for your loss,” “He will be missed,” and, “How can I help?”

    Supporting someone through the aftermath of a suicide can be awkward and uncomfortable. We as a culture prefer to avoid sensitive topics like mental health and suicide. However, if you want to help, you need to be willing to discuss the loss. You need to cultivate a calm, non-judgmental attitude and let the person know it is safe to talk to you. Get them out of the house, and be sure you know what NOT to say. In time, survivors with strong support systems are able to overcome the feelings of intense grief that follow the loss of a loved one and move forward, while still holding onto precious memories of those they have lost.


    About the Expert

    Steve Johnson co-created PublicHealthLibrary.org as part of a school project. He and a fellow pre-med student enjoyed working on the site so much that they decided to keep it going. Their goal is to make PublicHealthLibrary.org one of the go-to sources for health and medical information on the web.


    The views or experiences expressed are solely those of the contributor or interview subject and do not represent the views of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, its staff or board. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the material, please contact the Tyler Clementi Foundation, and we appreciate your support and commitment to end bullying starting on #Day1.


  • Featured Post

    Philadelphia’s University of the Arts VP Shares #Day1 Declaration

    Philadelphia's University of the Arts is a proud #Day1 Partner.

    VP of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Rick Longo reads the #Day1 Declaration at the 2-minute mark to his students to commit Philadelphia’s UArts campus as an official #Day1 safe space. Before that, he shares about his experience being bullied.

    Hear more about colleges and universities participating in #Day1 here.

    Find resources to help your college and university stand up to bullying here and resources for bullying prevention in the university Greek system here.


New Video

Tyler Clementi Foundation Accepts $30K from Mark Cortale's Concert Series

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