Professionals Against Bullying

Friday, December 9, 2011

Kindness Chronicles

What brings out the holiday spirit in you?
What makes you smile and feel as though this season is magical?
Write down 5 things that make you grateful for December.
What did you think about?
For's simple
1.)People giving me cards/tokens because they thought of me
2.)Strangers greeting me just because they feel cheerful
3.)Christmas songs
4.)Times of reflection and gratitude
5.)Being surprised

Soooo...I have a challenge for you to keep others cheerful and bright during this season. Grant a wish everyday. It does not have to be extravagant. It can be small. Write a nice note to someone that you are grateful for; Be a secret santa and drop off treats for those in need; Drop a $1 on the ground and realize the person that needs it the most-will probably need it. You can get creative and come up with your own. If you plan on doing this everyday of December-please let me know and share what you learned. It helps all of us to keep the season bright. :)
Read something great

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sorry for my distance...

Have you been looking for me? You have not been missing from my heart but I realize that my words have been missing from this blog. Please forgive me. The Fall of 2011 has given me great joy and even greater projects. I have been able to launch several anti-bullying initiatives and programs to change the scope of our communities. Much of my time has also been occupied by researching relevant subjects that will be in future books.
Whenever I am not around-you are still with me. Without my readers I would not be who I am. I have been asked on several occasions about my motivation for doing the work that I do. It is simple. I want to use my passion to inspire and motivate others to be kind, to be caring and to be courageous. When I deliver a shipment of books to our Literacy Project Partners I deliver hope in written form. When I host anti-bullying info nights and sessions together we create a community that cares and when I meet my readers I meet my favorite people.
Have you been working on a new project? Do you have something that is consuming your time that brings meaning to others? Let us know! Together we can make a difference.
-Read something great

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to school and back to Anti-bullying

I know that my posts have been few and far between lately and I hope that you know that it's because I have been working very hard to get the word out o self-esteem, diversity and literacy work. When you think about anti-bullying do you also think about back to school? I remember being excited as a young person about going back to school. I always had a nervous feeling but I also felt that this was my opportunity to start fresh and build up new relationships. It was not always easy.

The last thing that I wanted to do was be late to class. Have you ever been late to class on the first day of school? Walking in while the teacher is talking and pause-everyone stares at you and ogles you as you try to find a seat. It is even worse if the seat that you sit in is someone else's and then you have to find another seat. What was your hardest part about adjusting to back to school? Did you have a hard time fitting in? Making new friends? Or finding a place to sit at lunch where you felt welcome? Tell me! I'm working on lots of programming to suit the needs of those who don't always feel comfortable in their schools. For some people back to school time can be the time of the year when they feel the most alone-but we can do something about it. We had an Anti-bullying back to school brunch just recently and gave school supplies, programming and hope to tweens, teens and families and with the help of Bonefish Grill of Novi we even gave them lunch. Would you like to help? Let me know! I'm working on more books, more events and more dialogue to create safe spaces for students and families to talk about these issues.

Hope to hear from you soon and as always Read Something Great!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Summer to remember!

Are you wondering where I've been?
I know that it has been a while since I have blogged but I have great things to report! Our newest book launch just happened over the weekend;
We just distributed our newest partner their books for "Be A Part of Their Story" and we are making amazing strides when it comes to anti-bullying! I have included tons of pictures for you to take a look at!
What are you doing this summer? How do you plan to use your talents to inspire, transform and connect your community? How can we help? Have a great day and as always read something great!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The girl who does too much...aka ME! never fails that at least once a day I hear...Wow-you do so much! I have heard that since high school when I had two part-time jobs and my regular course load. I heard it even more when I was in college and worked 40 hours a week (to pay for college) and was the co- leader of a campus/singles based ministry, Student Government Vice President while juggling a 20+ credit load. This is me. I always encourage people to embrace who they are. Be you! Love yourself. Know your Kryptonite and be aware of your power pellets. I remember when I was in middle school and my friend drew a really nice "Say no to drugs" poster. Immediately my mind composed a campaign. I told her that we should mass produce them and have them be the marketing capstone for a program and play that we would put on for the whole school. I suggested that we talk to the teacher who always seemed to be involved in outreach and positive programs for kids.
My friend looked at me and said why do you always take everything too far? she shook her head and's just a poster. That was the end of that. I remember feeling sad because I thought the beautiful poster could change lives, inspire difference, allow us to have a platform that was spearheaded by two sixth graders. It never did any of that. It just sat in a book bag for no one to see and eventually I'm sure it was crumpled and thrown away. I do a lot-I know. I have thoughts times a million and idea overload but I also know that these thoughts can change lives. What are your thoughts? I'd love to know! :)

-Read something great

Monday, May 23, 2011

Guest blog from our newest team member : Haley Jackson

Literacy is a word full of strength and importance

When I think of literacy, I think about the nights I spent under the covers with my flashlight reading Little House on the Prairie or The Big Friendly Giant, or sitting on the couch learning to read with my Dad, or the countless hours I've spent lost in a great book. I think about how great I felt when I read my very first book. I remember the frustration of learning to read the hard words; especially the word penguin. I think about how excited I was when I woke up earlier than my Dad and could just sit in my room and read on my own.

More recently I think about the excitement of the children I have helped learn how to read. The pride in their faces when they figure out the tough word they had been struggling with, or when they get through a whole book on their own. I think about how great I feel when I am able to pass on the excitement and the honor of literacy.

Literacy is about so much more than strength and importance. Literacy is about tradition, pride, and honor. It is about the excitement of learning and the love of sharing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

With a couple of words...

Hi Readers,
Have you ever thought about the power of language? When we decide to greet someone and ask them about their day-we can make them feel special and cared for. When we say mean, careless comments we can make them feel as if they don't matter. When I was young someone told me that words do not have the power to hurt-they are just words. I don't agree.
When the civil rights workers fought for freedom and had racial slurs painted on their homes-those words hurt. When it is some one's birthday and they get a card that tells them they are great-those words help. My goal is to help spread the word (no pun intended) about self-esteem, diversity and literacy. I do this through my books, events and projects. So before you speak-try this exercise first. Ask yourself is this helpful or hurtful? If it could go either way refrain from saying it. Let's build up this world with our words.
-Read something great.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's here!!

Hi Readers!
For everyone who has been asking about the newest book in the "Teen Books By Tara" series...the wait is over. "No Longer Besties and Other Assorted Teenage Drama" is now ready for pre-sale! This book introduces our newest character Madisyn Parker and her dilemmas with family, friends and fitting in. Bullying is one of the main topics we cover in this 200 page novel. We are reserving spaces now for reading clubs and topic sessions. Thanks to everyone who is a reader-your support helps me to continue to do this work.
-Read something great!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In an effort to end bullying...

If you are free this Friday-I'd like to welcome you to join us at our Professionals Against Bullying Roundtable hosted by the Friendship Circle. We will have a presentation, dialogue session and time to network and talk to others about this issue that effects our communities. We are meeting at 6 p.m. and it will run until 8 p.m. All ages are welcome to join us.
If you can't make this please try and come to Much Ado About Bullying: Signs, Symptoms and Solutions on Sunday May 15 from 1-6 p.m. at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills. I will be one of the speakers and will be joined by Dr. Elizabeth Barton and Glenn Stutzky. Bullying is not just teasing and joking it is an act that is being amplified by our global media capabilities and hurting the quality of life and self-esteem of people of all ages. We have some great ideas and events on the horizon that I promise to keep you up to date on.
-Read something great!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy May!

I know that it has been a long time since I have blogged but I promise that I have not been idle. As an author and advocate I have experienced some great milestones that I would like to share with you! My new curriculum guides have been able to help kids and teens all over Michigan and beyond embrace self-esteem, diversity, literacy and anti-bullying. If you are interested in a workbook or a program customized to the needs of your group-please let me know. This work has kept me quite busy but it has been very fulfilling and it is refreshing to see that people are seeking this type of content to improve the relations of our communities. If you like my T-shirt in the picture-we have a facebook contest going on right now at our "Teen Books By Tara" Page. You can win a chance to get your own for free if our page gets to 300. Stay tuned to this blog for some new announcements coming soon that will make you smile. Last but not least I want you to know that you can always stay up to date with my books and work by following me on Twitter at @Taramichener. I love to be able to engage with you my readers and learn about your endeavors and goals! :)
Read something great!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Something to smile about...

I know that it has been a long time since I blogged readers! Thanks for your patience. I was just inspired by an epiphany that involves self-esteem and I realized that My hiatus had to end today. Have you ever had an occurrence that made you stop in your tracks and critically think about your life?
I was recently tagged in pictures from a good friend that I have known for a large part of my life. As I looked at the photos and viewed the reflection of a younger version of myself something significant stood out to me. I looked different. I know you are probably thinking of course you looked different these are old pictures. It was not just the fact that I am older. It is deeper than that.
When I was a little girl I was always told that I had a pretty smile. When I got to middle school a girl told me that I should not smile because I had crooked teeth and I did not look good when I smiled naturally. She taught me how to hold in my smile. If you have ever been around me-you know that this is hard for me. My smile is a default. I do it all of the time and it is sometimes impossible to hold back even if I am not happy. I still feel joyful enough to smile.
Nevertheless, I learned the art of holding in my joy. I learned how to keep my teeth contained. In the pictures that I recently viewed I saw a vital component of Who I Am missing. I am not exactly sure when I decided to release the smile edict and embrace my smile again but I am glad that I did. Is there someone asking you to hold back your smile? Have you ever tried to disguise a natural part of your character? My advice is that it is not worth it. So many people have shared with me the power of my smile and I realize that to hold it back I am holding back a natural gift from others. This may sound a bit bold and possibly conceited but trust me that is not the point. The point is that all of us have a talent. Once you realize what your specific talent is...holding it back only harms others instead of helping them. Playing small or censoring your gift is not humble-it's just unfair. Think deeply about who you are as a person.
What are you complimented on the most? What do you love about yourself? Share it with others. Give them something to smile about.
-Read something great

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


It's hard to think about summer when the snow is still on the ground and the air is cold. But if you try really hard you can imagine warm weather, beaches and one of my personal favorites ice cream. Now that I have you focused...think about one other thing that makes summer special. Reading. Summer Reading is such an important activity for young people. It allows them to retain and/or improve their reading levels, increase vocabulary, stretch their creative muscles and it's just plain fun.
This summer me and my hubistrator will be working really hard to support the efforts of Southwest Early Learning Community. This group is located on Detroit's Southwest side and serves families and young people with family literacy and educational enhancement opportunities.
Are you interested in helping? Take a look at the side panel of this blog and donate a book. You can help a child get brand new materials signed by the author. As it gets closer we will let you know how it's going.
Summer should be about bike riding and ice cream but most importantly it should be about educating our young people and helping them with their literacy goals. That is my summer dream.
-Read something great

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My own Black History...

February is the month that we celebrate the trials and victories of African-Americans in our society. I love this month! I enjoy seeing posters and acknowledgments of those who came before me and allowed me to be who I am today. I have talked a lot about Dr. King in this blog so now I will talk about another Black American that inspired me.
Langston Hughes may not have his own holiday but to me he was an inspiration and an icon. Langston was a poet during the Harlem Renaissance. He used his words to commemorate an interesting time in the history of America. This was before civil rights. This means that he could not sit in the front seat of a bus. He could not sit at a lunch counter either. But he could stand for something great. He expressed his dreams, apprehensions and thoughts about the African-American experience according to him. He used the pen (which is far mightier than the sword) to fight back and speak up. He was one of our great writers. I did not learn about his work until I reached high school. He was not mentioned much in my history books. I love that I can give him acknowledgment here in this forum that might not have existed if he did not inspire me to use my words to make a difference.
Who can you use today to inspire? Is there someone who looks up to you? I often wonder if Langston and others like him knew the impact that they would have on future generations. Let's continue to make history.
-Read something great

Friday, January 21, 2011

Guest blog from Mallory something great!

World Clothes Line
My family calls me “The World Traveler.” It’s true, I travel a lot. I love exploring new places, more so than the average Joe. I also own a clothing company which, fittingly, is called World Clothes Line. WCL is a fashion brand that raises awareness of clothing needs around the globe. Every purchase helps give clothes to people in need.
WCL clothes are designed to embrace different countries and their cultures. Our initial collections represent Indonesia, Peru, and the United States. Beaches and temples for Indonesia. Mountains and Llamas for Peru. Liberty and History for the U.S.A. Get the idea? All items purchased will benefit their respective countries.
In founding a humanitarian company, I had faith that my customers would support my cause, but I wasn’t sure if they would sport designs that weren’t from their own culture. My plan was to showcase different countries in new, innovate ways, but I didn’t want to cross the line. My clothes needed to be worldly but also stay trendy.
I had two designs that were on the fence. I called them the “native language” garments. The first was a sweatshirt for Peru that read “Vestir Al Mundo” across the chest. The English translation, “Clothe the World” was written on back. The second was a t-shirt for Indonesia that read “Berikan Untuk Dunia” in a similar fashion, with “Give to the World” translated on back.
Would people actually wear designs of a language that is not their own? Was that pushing the envelope a bit too far? The majority of my customers are Americans, and the majority of Americans don’t speak a foreign language. Even I, “The World Traveler”, don’t speak Spanish or Indonesian.
I decided to go for it and included the two designs in my launch. Let’s see how adventurous my customers will be! To my delight, the designs not only sold, they were quite popular! I couldn’t stock the shelves fast enough. The “native language” t-shirt (now called “Generosity”) is the #1 selling item in the Indonesia Collection.
It gives me great pride to know my customers and fans so easily purchased these designs. They not only accepted diversity, they embraced it!
If you want to add a little language to your wardrobe, please visit
Mallory Brown
Founder – World Clothes Line

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dream on...

Today commemorates a wonderful day in American culture. Schools are closed, people have the day off from work and even if it rains, sleets or snows the mail will not run today. Have you pondered the dream of Dr. King? What does it mean to you that he sacrificed and fought for freedom? My rights are important to me. I believe in going to the polls and voting. I love going out for lunch. I rarely sit in the back row anywhere that I go. These are simple luxuries. If it had not been for the steadfast dream of Dr. King and the hard work that went along with his dream-my life would be different. Have you ever thought about the simple things and how his legacy changed our present circumstances? The bigger question is...what is your dream? How can you change the lives of others? Do you have a dream that will live on beyond your existence. Will your hard work be a benefit to those who are not even born yet? I was not able to see any speeches of Dr. King in person. I was not born when he lived. His dream still impacts my life today. I am compelled to work as hard as I can so that when my life is legacy allows someone else a freedom or benefit that they otherwise may not have known. This could be enriching them in diversity, helping them to embrace self-esteem or encouraging them to seek out the beauty of literacy. I implore to you today to Dream on...
-Read something great

Friday, January 7, 2011

Letters...A new concept

I LOVE the social media age. I think that it is great when I go to schools and I get to see how new technology is teaching young people how to be creative. Most of the kids and teens that love my books understand technology better than their parents. I was able to speak to a group of teens about a month ago about the importance of social media and of course etiquette online. It was a great talk and I walked away feeling as though they had a good grasp on using technology to better themselves.
What I did not talk about was handwritten notes, old fashioned letters or stationary.I was able to meet someone who I now call friend in early November. This young lady was at an ice cream shop and a bunch of us began discussing facebook, Twitter and blogging. Imagine my shock when she revealed that she was not on facebook. I was dumbfounded. I wanted to communicate with her-what would I do if she was not on my most used site for keeping up my friendships.
She had an idea. She shared that she loves to write letters. I was amazed. Letters? Really? She talked about the fact that their is an art form to old fashioned communication and as we move ahead it is important not to forget the beauty of all forms of communication. The next week I was both surprised and flattered that she sent me a letter. I have gotten to know her in a great way since that day. I also reminded myself that stamps, envelopes and paper are good to keep on hand. The next time that I teach a group of teens about literacy-letters will be a part of the conversation. How do you communicate with those that you care about? Have you thought about writing someone a note and surprising them? I have a challenge for you! Try to surprise one person each month with a heartfelt letter. Most likely they will be surprised and grateful. I have not seen my new friend since I first met her but I have a feeling that I know her better than I would if I would have only communicated with her on facebook.
-Read something great

Monday, January 3, 2011

Recipe for Diversity...

Have you ever heard of diversity referred to as a melting pot? Me too. Let's think about that. All of the unique attributes that makes diversity awesome melts together in a large pot and blends together. Let's think of diversity in another way for a second. How about salad? If you have a large bowl and you add tomatoes, peppers, spinach, romaine, etc and you allow each ingredient to be together in this beautiful display but keep it's own unique qualities I like this better than melting together and losing identity. I had an awesome chat with a friend Kate about this concept and we thought of a cool idea. Their is an amazing event that takes place once a month that allows projects to get noticed, and even funded if the majority rules called Detroit SOUP. They always have a meal of soup, salad, bread and pie. I offered to make the salad to serve 150 people on January 2nd and me and my hubistrator called it a "Who I Am" salad. We combined ingredients that included lots of colorful veggies and even had tortilla chips of color on the side. We matched the colors in my first book to convey the message of diversity to the group. It was a great night and opened up the dialogue of diversity in a creative way. What are you passionate about? Think outside of the box. You can convey your purpose in a way that is unique and that gets everyone excited about it. Feel free to share your ideas on this blog and get others inspired about the goals achieved in 2011! -Read something great!