3 Tips When Talking Politics With Family This Holiday Season

Talk to Family Over Holidays

Talk to Family Over Holidays

This holiday, give the gift of bullying prevention. Make a gift to TCF today and help us create a country free from bullying.

Many believe you should never talk politics or religion with friends or family. For people passionate about change…that is mighty hard. This holiday season, it is inevitable that the current, tense political climate will come up for millions of families. How can you survive this experience? Here are three tips:

DisengageDisengage: Breathe in. Breathe Out. You know your situation and your family better than anyone. Do you really believe that engaging that relative pro-actively or reactively is going to change anyone’s mind or not ended up in tempers rising? Consider resisting the temptation to engage or stepping away when it is brought up. Family is family and holidays should be enjoyable.

Feel EmpoweredFeel Empowered: For those who don’t want to “agree to disagree” and want to feel more empowered, consider telling your personal story and not letting it escalate. Is there a way to explain calmly that elections have consequences for actual people—people like you, people who are minorities? Tell the story of an LGBT, immigrant, Muslim or disabled person you know and maybe just maybe you will feel more empowered that you planted a seed of empathy.

Find Common GroundFind Common ground: Think about values instead of positions or candidates. We all share similar values even if our actions demonstrate contradictions. Nearly all people support fairness, liberty, public health, a clean environment, caring for the less fortunate, etc. Center conversations around values. If you take up all the moral high ground, you leave little room for people to stand with you.

This holiday, give the gift of bullying prevention. Make a gift to TCF today and help us end online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities.


Oh, What a Night!


Congratulations to our 2017 honorees:
Rev. Frederick A Davie
Executive Vice President, Union Theological Seminary

Alfredo Paredes
Executive Vice President & Chief Retail Creative Officer, Ralph Lauren
Board Co-Chair, Hetrick-Martin Institute

Neil Giacobbi, AT&T

A special thank you to our many generous sponsors for their support!

A special thank you to our host Maulik Pancholy, and special musical guest Lance Horne.

We also want to thank:

Jane Clementi, Robin Robinson-Dillard

Andrew Bear, Laura Birk, Paul Boskind, Alan S. & Ben Buie-King, Kevin Carroll, Jason Cianciotto & Courter Simmons, Joe Clementi, Bruce Cohen, Craig de Thomas, Peter Montgomery Drake & Jared Moreno Drake, Neil Giacobbi & Bethany Godsoe, Mitchell & Tim Gold, Drew Gulley, Monica Lewinsky, Bert Orlov & Adrienne Opalka, Caryn Reed-Hendon, Bob Williams & Stephen Heavner, Vikrum Vishnubhakta, Scott Woodward

We want to express a very special thank you to our 2017 Upstander Legacy Celebration Sponsors

Champion Sponsors: Barilla, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

Changemaker Sponsors: Workplace Options, Morgan Stanley & Kevin Carroll

Upstander Sponsor: Bloomingdale’s, David Yurman Jewelers, tarte cosmetics, Union Theological Seminary

Benefactor Sponsors: Cynthia and Robert Bear, The COIL Foundation, Ira Schuman and Richard Eaddy of Savills-Studley, Inc, Peter Montgomery Drake & Jared Moreno Drake, Open Society Foundations, The Tyler Clementi Center at Rutgers University

Patron Sponsors: Jason Cianciotto & Courter Simmons, Ira Schuman and Richard Eaddy of Savills-Studley, Inc., Salt Hotels, Second Paramus Associates, Teachers College (Columbia University)

Friends: Paul Boskind, Drew Gulley, Catharine Hough, Dr. John Hunter, Michael Lynch, Bert Orlov, Janice Robinson, Vikrum Vishnubhakta, Juan Carlos Fernandez, Phillips Nazro, Michael Adams, Alfredo Paredes, Greg Kubiak, Molly Bass, Mary Gore, Dan Luna and Bill Singer, Bob Mollusky, Calvin Mew, Thomas Witt, Odeh Ahmad, Matt Schaible, Danielle Malloy, Chris Jones, Eric Reinitz


Meet Upstander Trey Darnell

How do you define bullying?
Bullying takes on many different shapes in our world. It is unfortunate that most people think of bullying as occurring in a school setting where one kid takes lunch money from another. We do not live in a society where bullying and tormenting are present just in kids. Bullying is present in the workplace, the supermarket, applying for a loan, social media, the political system, and any other complex situation. Bullying is discrimination, demonstrations of hatred, taunting, and violence. Bullying is any action where one individual or group attempts to maintain a majority of over a minority group by using any method available. Bullying is invading someone’s privacy or distributing private information about an individual. Bullying surrounds us every day.

What does respect mean to you?
It sounds cliché to say respect is treating someone the way you want to be treated in return. Respect is accepting how beautiful it is that each and every one of us is different. By encouraging uniqueness in the world and expressing yourself in a confident, polite, and respectful manner, you lay the groundwork for a brighter society. When we stop worrying about how people are different from us and we welcome those diversities, we are acting selflessly. Being respectful is enjoying the differences. If everyone were the same, that would be beyond boring.

As a parent, how do you teach empathy and respect to your daughter?
Our daughter Harper is almost four and one of the most compassionate young ladies I have ever met. She is affectionate towards the two of us as her dads, her birth family, our parents, her classmates, and teachers. She knows no stranger. She is jubilant and blurts out random statements filled with cheerfulness to the people that she encounters.

I wish I were able to say that we followed a book or had massive experience with children. In reality, we lead by example. We immediately correct her if she acts in a way that is disrespectful to someone or something. It is our responsibility to nurture her as she grows into a teenager and a young woman. Those qualities are there for every child, it is our responsibility as parents to help those characteristics emerge and remain pure. If we choose to be respectful and non-discriminatory, the hope is she will retain those traits throughout her life. Bullying, discrimination, and hatred are acquired qualities in a person and are not acceptable in our family unit.

tcf-social-darnell-tileHow do you teach your daughter to advocate for herself in a given situation?
We show Harper by being examples to her and by having true age relevant conversations. It is funny though, she never stops talking and telling you what she needs or wants. Harper has spoken out about a classmate that is aggressive with her and other students. We encouraged Harper to always be polite and provided her with positive phrases that she could use in a situation when she felt upset, scared, or sad.

It is funny to my husband Matthew and me that Harper knows several of RuPaul’s catchphrases. We jokingly taught her to say the child’s name and follow it up with, “You are an amazing queen, now sashay away.” We aren’t sure if she would remember the phrase in a particular situation, but we wanted to focus on complimenting her classmate and asking her to step away from the current situation.

What do you do to help your daughter speak up if there’s something she needs to tell you?
My husband Matthew and I have honest conversations with Harper. Being frank with her has led to building a level of trust between the three of us. We are consistent in having in-depth conversations as a family or one-on-one chats with her. While most of them are silly or childish in nature, there is definitely a level of trust that Harper has in opening up about her day at pre-school as well as when she spends time with our friends and parents.

Harper is also very aware of her being part of an open adoption. She has a relationship with her biological family as we take part in yearly visits. I feel that we do not keep secrets from her unless it is a happy surprise and at almost four, she does not keep secrets from us.

While we are at a stage where kids pretend and play using different identifying terms like mommy and daddy. Matthew and I are known as Dada and Daddy unless Harper just wants one of us to pay attention to her and just repeats Dad until one of us responds. There have been a few instances where there are discussions about why she has two dads. I usually drop Harper off at school, but on a day I was unavailable, Matthew took over the responsibility. There was confusion among the class when Harper said that was her Dada and some of her classmates disagreed with her. The teachers were quick to sit everyone down and use that particular scenario as a teaching moment.

It is important to both of us that we are present in Harper’s school environment. We have chosen, to this point, to not use the carpool line. It is important for us to be role models for other parents and the school itself as gay parents. While we live in a society that is split on the validity of our relationship and our ability to be parents, we are present and advocate by example and visibility for our community.

How would you say you stand up to bullying?
My coping methods towards bullying have evolved over time. Living in the South, it is easy to lash out or respond negatively when on the receiving end of bullying. In a way, that is the motive of the individual. As I have matured the world around me has evolved. Tormentors need to be educated that their statements and actions are harmful and contrary to society as a whole. While we are swarmed in a world where the phrases “Freedom of Speech” and “First Amendment Rights” are thrown around as a warning that we are in a place where anything goes. Well, the truth is, you have the ability to say whatever you desire, but you need to understand those statements have consequences whether positive or negative.

It probably sounds callous, but I meet bullying with the feeling of that individual or group lacks the knowledge or understanding of their actions. I take responsibility, as we all should, in educating and deterring that type of behavior. I have found that some individuals are unwilling to grow as a person and it is easier to leave the situation alone and prevent escalation. The opportunity to again attempt to cultivate relationships and respect will show itself repeatedly.

Can you tell us about a time when a friend helped support you when others were being unkind?
This should be an easy question to answer. Being gay there have to be tens of hundreds of times when I experienced a tormentor or harmful actions of another. The many instances are just flooding my memory. In college, I pledged and became a brother of a national fraternity. There were a couple of members that I would describe as verbally homophobic. While I was not out at the time, I am sure some members knew or were suspicious. One of my fraternity brothers was quick to stop homophobic comments and educate that we were a group of men that were supportive and welcoming of all men.

How do you deal with someone who you might not get along with?
By being gay, I have acquired the attitude that people are different and that is outstanding. With the political environment of 2017, it is okay that we have different opinions and we need to accept that we are not going to change all viewpoints. If an interaction is required for someone that is disrespectful to me or there is obvious tension, I must be respectful and speak up in situations that are discriminatory based. I might be snooty by saying I have one chance at the life I was given, and if we are not compatible when it comes to communication or any other attribute, I will limit contact to what is appropriate and comfortable.

What would you say to someone who has experienced bullying?
Keep moving forward. Surround yourself with people that are supportive and loving. Speak up to bullying and walk away if a situation might turn into violence. Never stop being a role model for those around you.

How do you think families can play a role in stopping bullying?
Bullying is a trait that is learned. Families are the frontline defense in preventing and educating about bullying. Families and communities cannot rely on the school systems to eliminate or prevent bullying. Each individual and family should be tasked with a responsibility to speak out against bullying and its effects. This is the same for families with children and families without children.

Trey Darnell is a father to four-year-old Harper and husband to Matthew.

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.


Tyler Clementi Foundation Announces New Executive Director, Jason Cianciotto

Jason Cianciotto, MPA

October 24, 2017 (New York, NY)—Today, the Tyler Clementi Foundation announced the appointment of its new Executive Director, Jason Cianciotto, MPA. Hired as the result of an extensive nationwide search, Cianciotto brings over 15 years of progressive leadership at nonprofit advocacy, research, and direct service organizations. His professional qualifications to lead the foundation are matched by his deeply personal connection to its mission.

“I know first-hand what it’s like to be bullied as a youth nearly every day at school because of my sexual orientation, only to come home to a family who forced me to attend so-called ‘ex-gay’ therapy, and who eventually kicked me out onto the streets because of their religious fundamentalism,” said Cianciotto. “That journey led me to dedicate my life to advocating for and healing LGBT populations and other stigmatized minorities, while ensuring the next generation is nurtured with dignity and acceptance. I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to fight alongside the Clementi family, Board, staff, and volunteers to end online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities.”

Cianciotto honed his leadership at nonprofits serving LGBT and allied communities at the local, state, and national level, including as Research Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Policy Institute, Executive Director of Wingspan, Southern Arizona’s LGBT Community Center, Director of Public Affairs and Policy and Managing Director of Special Events and Major Gifts at Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), and Vice President of Policy, Advocacy, and Communications at Harlem United.

Cianciotto has authored or co-authored over 50 articles and publications, including the book, LGBT Youth in America’s Schools, which was honored as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title by the Association of College and Research Libraries. His expertise, thought leadership, and personal story have been featured in print, radio, and television, including on CBS News, The Hallmark Channel, MSNBC, and HuffPost. A more detailed biography and print-quality photo of Cianciotto is available here.

“We hired Jason because we wanted someone with the heart, head, and vision to help us ensure that no parent loses a child to bullying ever again,” said Jane Clementi, who co-founded the foundation with her husband Joe after Tyler died by suicide in 2010 when he was cyberbullied because of his sexual orientation.

“Now that bullying has been elevated to our nation’s highest political office, the Tyler Clementi Foundation is more important than ever,” said Alan Buie-King, Chair of the foundation’s Board. “We actively looked for a leader whose personal life story and work history will foster strategic growth that not only strengthens our existing programs, but also aggressively addresses head on the worst sources of life-threatening bullying and harassment during this unprecedented time in America’s history, from schools, to religious fundamentalism and the Oval Office.”


Meet Our 2017 Upstander Legacy Celebration Host Maulik Pancholy


MAULIK HOSTS OUR 2017 UPSTANDER LEGACY CELEBRATION Get tickets now for the event on November 13 in New York City!

Thank you so much for hosting our 2017 Upstander Legacy Celebration on November 13th! Amidst your busy schedule, why was it important to you to make time to be our host?

The work Tyler Clementi Foundation is doing has become extremely important in the current climate. As a person of color and as a gay man, I’m well aware of the uptick we’re experiencing in bullying and hate crimes in seemingly all minority communities. The statistics are shocking and unacceptable. So, I’m grateful for the chance to lend a voice to supporting TCF.

Why is bullying prevention important to you? 

Growing up, I often felt like I didn’t “fit in”. I was a scrawny, nerdy, brown kid with braces and glasses, and I was dealing with coming out. Literally no one at my school openly identified as LGBT, so that struggle felt very isolating. I know that young people (and adults, too) need to feel like they matter and that they belong.

I’ve been alarmed by hearing stories of the kinds of emotional and physical violence people who are bullied experience, as well as the long term damage bullying can cause. Supporters of TCF already know about the increased risk of suicide, depression, anxiety, addiction and low self-esteem that can last into adulthood. People are often bullied for perceived differences. I hope we can offer young people the chance to celebrate their diversity and support one another so that everyone can achieve their full potential.

Tyler’s story was so impactful for many LGBTQ+ people of all ages. How did his story impact you?

I was horrified and deeply saddened. It’s hard to imagine the kind of pain a person must be experiencing to end their life. But for anyone who thinks bullying is just part of growing up, or just kids messing around, I’d ask them to take a moment to imagine Tyler on that bridge and what it must have felt like for him. All the things he could have been are now lost forever. I’m so moved by the courage of the Clementi family for taking action to create dialogue between parents, teachers, and students about what we all need to be doing better.

Why do you feel it’s important for people to stand up and stand out when they see bullying?

I believe we’re all in this together. We need each other. A kind word, a physical intervention, someone to help with the process of reporting and offering support—these are invaluable. Victims of bullying often experience shame, fear, and confusion around how to get help. So, we all have a responsibility to do the right thing. We all flourish when the environments we’re in are safe for everyone.  

tcf-social-maulik-tileDuring the Obama Administration, you were appointed by President Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Please share about the importance of AAPI representation and how you are continuing that great work now.

As a Commissioner, I focused a great deal on young AAPIs and ways we could better meet their needs. We were hearing reports of AAPI youth being bullied, in some instances, at rates that were double the national average. They also had unique circumstances – being bullied not only for appearance, or identity or sexuality, but also for things like religion, the foods they brought to school, for immigration status, and language proficiency. Often their parents did not fully grasp the bullying they were experiencing, and in many cases they did not know how to get help or report incidences. So, we created an AAPI Anti-Bullying Task Force at the White House. We did 29 listening sessions around the country, and out of that we launched an anti-bullying campaign designed to address the needs of young AAPIs called #ActToChange. 

We’ve moved #ActToChange outside of the White House now, and we are continuing to grow it. The campaign website, ActToChange.org, includes video and music empowerment playlists, and encourages you to “Take a Pledge” to join the #ActToChange movement and stand up against bullying. As one out of three AAPIs does not speak English fluently, resources are available in Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Punjabi, Urdu, and Vietnamese. The campaign encourages AAPI youth and adults to share their stories, engage in community dialogues, and take action against bullying. The work of #ActToChange seems more important now than ever, much like TCF’s work. In fact the Council on American-Islamic Relations has reported that there has been a 91% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the first half of 2017 alone.

How can we better include AAPI students and adults in bullying prevention?

It’s a good question. I think a big part of this is just making sure we’re included in the conversation, so I appreciate you asking! Asian Americans are often victims of the “Model Minority Myth”: this idea that we all do well in school, have good jobs, succeed financially, and so forth. And that’s just not the case. AAPIs are an extremely diverse group. We trace our heritage to more than 30 different countries, and our challenges are as diverse as the communities we come from. While the effects of bullying might manifest in similar ways, helping a turban wearing student who is being called a terrorist vs. a helping a student being bulled for identifying as LGBT require different tools. We have to be specific about the cultural dialogue we engage in around both of those.

You’ve been a large part of a number of shows for young people like Disney’s Phineas and Ferb and Nickelodeon’s Sanjay & Craig. How do these shows influence youth to embrace diversity?

I love voicing cartoons! It’s so fun and so imaginative. And knowing that kids are getting to see shows with diverse casts is hugely important. I remember being a kid and watching Saturday morning cartoons and never seeing characters that looked like me. That can make you feel like your experience isn’t valid, or that you have to be more like someone else to fit in. So to be able to send a different message to young people is really important to me. Sanjay is the first lead Indian-American character on a network cartoon. He has a Caucasian mom and an Indian dad, and he’s just a 12-year old kid who likes to do what a lot of 12-year old kids like to do: hang out with his pet snake Craig and go on ridiculous adventures. It means a lot to me that I get to create a character that all kids, including Indian-American kids, can relate to.


Maulik Pancholy is an American actor. He is best known for his roles as Jonathan on 30 Rock, the voice of Baljeet Tjinder in Phineas and Ferb, Sanjay Patel in Weeds, and Nickelodeon animated series Sanjay and Craig.

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.


Why I Stand Up and Stand Out to End Bullying

I grew up in a small town with predominantly white neighbors, teachers and school mates. For the most part, many people were accepting of this small family of Pakistani-American’s that found a home in a new city.

However, what I remember most from my childhood are the moments where people were not-so accepting—the people that said horrendous things to my parents, siblings and me.

After the attacks on September 11th, the bullying got exponentially worse. I remember sitting in class as we discussed the terrorist attacks led by Islamic extremists and someone saying to me, “Tell your uncle Osama to stop bombing my country!”

I remember thinking to myself, “Isn’t this my country, too? I was born and raised in this country.”

Suddenly, my whole family noticed a change in our community. The cashier at the local grocery store wasn’t so accepting of my parents’ accents. She talked down to them and spoke slowly as if they couldn’t understand her. Why were people being such bullies? Were we doing something wrong? NO. The answer is NO.

tcf-social-uppal-tileIn today’s world, bullying is everywhere: on social media, in schools, at work, and in politics. I think the biggest problem we have is that children aren’t being taught to empathize.

My primary goal in life is to raise a good kid; I don’t mean a kid with straight A’s or a kid that is the star athlete. I mean a kid with a good nature, a nice person who likes to make everyone smile. I have a young daughter who is as curious as they get. She asks me questions like, “Why is that man in a wheelchair?” and “Why is that ladies skin darker than mine?” I tell her, “That’s one thing of many that makes that person special.” It’s difficult trying to explain to little children why they can’t say whatever is on their mind, but it’s a conversation parents need to have with their children. Children need to learn to empathize with others, to put themselves in others’ shoes and share the pain of there friends and neighbors.

As important as it is for me to teach my daughter to empathize, I find it equally important for her to stand up against bullying—whether it’s directed towards her or someone else. I show her all the ways she can use her voice, her words and her knowledge to change the world around her.

When I find out she is upset about something she saw in the news or something that happened to a schoolmate in preschool, I encourage my daughter to stand up and stand out, to do something that will make a difference. I never want her to feel like she can’t make a difference which is why I take pride in being a loud-mouthed, opinionated woman. All I can hope for is that she will follow suit one day and try to change the world around her for the better.

Meriam Uppal is a 29-year-old from Rochester Hills, Michigan, a Human Resources Manager for an automotive company in Rochester Hills, and a Political Science graduate from Wayne State University pursuing an MBA at Walsh College. She has been married for over 6 years and has a 4-year-old daughter..

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.


Mercer County Community College of New Jersey Takes the #Day1 Declaration

Mercer Community College starts their school year off 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


Meet Upstander Regent Empress XXXI Madison Ciccione Mansfield

Upstander Madison Mansfield
Many people may not familiar with the many things that the Imperial Court of New York does. Can you share a bit about it? 
The Imperial Court of New York is an organization that works alongside other charity organizations to bring attention to their causes and to raise much needed funds. Our membership is solely comprised of volunteers and everything we can and will do if for the betterment of our community.

The Imperial Court of New York recognizes the important work that the Tyler Clementi Foundation does in bullying prevention for students across all identities and abilities. How is the foundation’s work resonant to you?
At this time in America, it is vital to have an organization such as the Tyler Clementi Foundation. It appears that hate and bullying have become acceptable again. We as a nation need to do everything we can to teach people it is not okay to hate or to bully. We need to accept one another and teach compassion not hate.

Have you ever been bullied or felt like you were in a hostile space directed at you? If so, could you share what happened?
Yes, most definitely.  During my high school years, I became very shy and quiet. I understood that I was different and was coming to terms with the fact that I was gay.  On the bus ride home every day from school, I was called names, ridiculed and things were thrown at me on the bus and on my way home once I left the bus. No one stopped it or said anything to prevent this from happening to me. In my junior year, I finally had enough, and while I was walking home with items flying past my head, I stopped and turned around and said to the bully who has been doing this for years, “Would it help you if I stood still? Because you haven’t been able to hit my in all these years. So, maybe if I stood still, you could actually hit me.” Once I did this and stood up to the bully, he never again did anything to bother me. 
What do you think is the scariest thing about being bullied?
The scariest thing about being bullied is that you never know what someone is going through in their own head. Many people fight with overcoming their own personal demons, and sometimes, all is takes is one outside act of bullying or shaming to send someone over the edge. The results of this can be catastrophic.

tcf-social-upstander-madison-mansfield-tileHow should the community respond when we hear stories about someone being bullied?
The community as a whole should never allow bullying of any kind.  No one should be made to feel inferior, and none of us are any better that anyone else. We need to learn to accept one another and live in a peaceful manner, not one of hate and bullying.

Our #StandUpStandOut initiative is encouraging people to take the popular, free #Day1 toolkit to their communities, schools and workplaces in order to ensure commitment to bullying prevention through the declaration and pledge. How important is it to you that the community organizations you support and your workplace make a commitment to stand up against bullying, harassment and humiliation?
It is very important to me. I do not stand for bullying of any kind. I have been known for many years to be the person who will stand up for the underdog. Whether I like or believe in a person’s own personal beliefs or way of life, I truly believe in their right to be who they are. We must not judge one another. We must accept and understand each other.

Why is it important that people Stand Out to support bullying prevention?
It’s very important because we cannot be silent. Silence only breeds contempt and hate.  Standing up and letting your voice be heard is the only way progress can be made.

In your performances, your talents certainly stand out. What would you say to a young person who feels like they stand out because of who they are and might feel isolated because of it?
I actually have a friend who felt they were not being accepted because they like to dress & act provocative. I told them that they need to be true to themselves and to be authentic. If they felt they were not being accepted by those around them and that the were unable to change the minds of those around them, they should find a group that will accept them for who and what they are.

What can people expect to see at the Nobles’ Show this year? What are you excited about?
 What people should expect it a lot of fun, glamour, acceptance and love! The Nobles Show is when our “newer” members get to strut their stuff and show what they have to give. It is a way for the community to get to know them, and also, it’s a way for ICNY to get to know them better. Out of all the shows the ICNY puts on throughout the year, it’s The Nobles Show that highlights what were all about: Charity, Acceptance and Love for our community.

Regent Empress XXXI (31) Madison Ciccione Mansfield is the East Coast First Lady to the Americas, Grand Daughter to Queen Mother Nicole the Great, Queen Mother of the Americas, 2017 International Double Eagle Award Recipient – The Curvy Long Island Temptress of Serenity, Sincerity and Seduction, Her Imperial Majesty and so much more. Follow Madison on Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the Imperial Court of New York through Facebook and Twitter.

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.


Meet Upstander Paul Zemaitis


Remember, just because summer ends, bullying doesn’t end. You can #KeepItCool with Enjoyer’s special strawBERRY treat – buy one and get one to share with a friend! Proceeds support our work to end bullying prevention. Find out where you can get an icy treat today!

What is the story of Enjoyer?
Enjoyer was established by two vegan friends. We knew how hard is to get tasty and healthy vegan ice cream so we decided to produce and deliver it ourselves. Our mission is to deliver healthy joy for everyone!

How do you see being kind to others fitting into Enjoyer’s mission to deliver healthy joy for everyone?
We’re always sharing free popsicles in public places like camps, schools, and youth centers. We want to show that being nice is cool.

What prompted Enjoyer to support the Tyler Clementi Foundation for this special strawBERRY support promotion?
It’s important to us that we are out in the communities fostering real conversations, encouraging people to share kindness each day. The Tyler Clementi Foundation is the best partner who shares the point of view that sharing kindness is a great way to change the world and end bullying.

Showing kindness is much more powerful than being a bully.Why is bullying prevention important to you?
We think that there is too much aggression in our world. We just can’t continue to watch people behave poorly to people different from themselves. Some people are even cruel to animals! Enjoyer’s treats are vegan, environment friendly, and healthy. We want to share this positive attitude and show that being nice, especially to people around you that are different from you in many different ways, is cool. It’s crucial to have all people understand that starting from when we are children, showing kindness is much more powerful than being a bully.

What do you do to #KeepItCool when tempers flare up and you feel like a situation is getting hostile online or offline?
If it ever happens that there are any unhappy or angry faces, I find out what is happening, apologize if it is my fault or I accidentally caused any harm, and send a box of our best popsicles. Calm and kind communication helps every time.

Can you tell us about a time when a friend helped support you when others were being unkind?
I remember when I was in school, I needed some help with my math homework. The teacher told us that she explained enough. It was very difficult, because it looked like everyone really understood the lesson but me. Yet, no one wanted to help me. When the lesson ended, my friend came to me because I looked upset and took the time to explain everything I didn’t understand in the lesson. That was a kind thing to do. I was so glad and grateful for such a good friend.

strawBERRY popsiclesWho do you turn to for support when you are having a rough day?
I have few options to recover after having a rough day. The first one is go to exercise outside. Fresh air and increased power every time gives me a flash of energy and cleans my mind. Second good option is to go to play with my dog. Running, wrestling or playing with a ball brings happiness for both of us. Lastly, communication with friends, where we are talking and listening, cooking food together, going for a walk or playing basketball.

If you could say one thing to anyone who is the victim of bullying, what would it be?
Try to stay away from that guy who might not understand that he or she is doing something wrong. Try to find some friends for support and talk with an Upstander (in your school or at your office) who will listen, believe and support you.

Today, what will you do to show someone kindness?
I try to be kind all the time everywhere! We need to be kind to the people around us. Just today, I helped my parents with some yard work so they could relax more. You can also find me feeding a homeless dog if it comes to my yard or watering my neighbor’s flowers when they are on holiday.

Paulius Zemaitis (Paul Zemaitis) is the founder and CEO of Enjoyer born and raised in Lithuania. Learn more about him here.

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.


Stand Up and Be a Powerful Force to End the Hate

Like many in the past week, I’ve been bombarded by images of torch-wielding hate mongers, portraits of physical violence and intimidation, and the tragic loss of 3 precious lives.

As I learned about the Charlottesville events, I thought about my family’s recent trip to Montpelier and Monticello. My goal this summer was to create a safe space for my pre-teen daughter, Marie, to explore the truth about our nation’s dark past—long discussions about Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and how they managed their enslaved people coupled with our own Virginia family history. I could not have imagined how quickly an already difficult discussion could become exponentially more complicated as the Charlottesville events unfolded.

As we watched the video from witness’ accounts, we cried and tried very hard to make sense of the senseless. The Charlottesville tragedy pulled the scab off a wound we all carry from our shared and complicated American history.

As a nation, we must get ahead of this type of hostility in our classrooms, workplaces and houses of worship by standing up to bigotry, vitriol and bullying in all its forms. We must recognize that students of color, students who embrace diverse religious beliefs, students across the gender and sexual identity spectrum, students of all abilities and immigration statuses—we must all stand up for them.

I shared with Marie that to me, being an #Upstander is to be a powerful, positive force in our work to bring forward justice, equality, fairness and compassion.

If you haven’t taken the Upstander Pledge, now is the time to take it. If you have taken the pledge, now is the time to share it with others.

If you are ready to talk to your children’s teachers or school administrators about how #Day1‘s bullying prevention tools are simple, easy-to-sue and effective methods to ensure your child’s classroom is taking steps to prevent hostility, then download the free toolkit now.

Let your community know that together, we can and WILL end bullying.


New Video

Tyler Clementi Foundation's Jane Clementi and Faith in America's Mitchell Gold Join Together