Professionals Against Bullying

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cheers to Cheerios and harsh reality for many of us...

Many of you know that my books focus on self-esteem, diversity and anti-bullying. My interest in the topic is both professional and personal. When Jason and I began dating we were both shocked at the reaction that we received from many of the people that we thought we knew well. People said comments to us such as "what will you do with your kids?" How will you raise them?" etc. We knew that something needed to be done. We knew that if we stayed together and had kids that they might hear these questions as well. We chose to make the family business about educating our communities on the power of words, cultural competence and why bullying is a bad idea. In 2008 our first adventure started publicizing our work and mission. We have been able to talk to many amazing schools, individuals and organizations. We feel as though we are making a difference. We also know that we have a long road ahead of us. Jason and I were watching television recently and we saw the most adorable girl on our screen asking her mom about heart health. We laughed as we saw the punchline of the commercial. We noticed that the family was interracial but we did not talk about that as much as we thought it was a cute and creative ad to show the mind of a child helping her father. Imagine my shock when I saw the firestorm of remarks documented on youtube in reaction to this sweet and lovable commercial. I am pregnant with my first child and I realize that my biggest challenge will begin soon. I have worked hard to educate a community and now I will have to work harder to educate my child and teach him what I have been sharing with classrooms and boardrooms as I am in the process of decorating his bedroom. Cheers to Cheerios for featuring this family and for coming up with creative and fun content. My first book "Who I Am Not What I Am" ( ) features Janelle, a young girl who goes to school for the first time and is asked "what are you" by classmates. In the end Janelle understands that everybody does not get that she is more than what people see on the surface but an amazing person, a creative kid and a girl who loves to talk. This incident has received national attention for the words that others decided to write refuting the ad. I thought I'd share my own words celebrating the ad for the opportunity to reflect on the change that still needs to happen. -Read something great