The Kind Campaign, founded by Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson, has received sudden attention since Aaron Paul, Parsekian's husband, touted the anti-bullying foundation during his acceptance speech at the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards. The group's site was flooded with traffic and crashed, so many people wanted to know more about the campaign that aims to stop girl-on-girl bullying.
International Business Times caught up with the Kind Campaign’s founders during a phone interview to talk about bullying. Parsekian and Thomas offered answers for girls who are getting bullied and those who are perpetrators and might not know how to stop. It’s a topic that both women known about intimately, because they too were once victims of girl-on-girl hate. Now, they tour the country and speak at school assemblies to help make schools a kinder place.
Parsekian explained how the Kind Campaign got started: “I went through a traumatic experience in middle school with a bunch of girls, so girl-on-girl bullying was something that was important to me and I always knew I wanted to tackle that in some form.”
Parsekian said she was inspired to created the Kind Campaign while worked on a documentary called “I Am” during film school at Pepperdine University in California. “It was like a light bulb went off.”
Thompson, who also had unpleasant experiences in high school, said she was also inspired while working on the Kind Campaign documentary. “Being able to see women and girls open up and be vulnerable on camera made us want to do something more.”
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During the interview, Thompson provided some insight on what girls can do if they are experiencing bullying.
It Won’t Always Be Like This:
“When girls and boys are going through bullying, it feels like they’re never going to get past the school hallways … but high school is such a short chapter of life. There are so many more experiences to be had,” she said. “Having that perspective can help them move past the hallways and see there is so much more amazing things ahead of them.”
Ask For Help:
“If anyone is ever going through something like that, it is so important to reach out to an adult and get help.” Thompson said her parents helped her get through a rough patch in high school.
Try To Talk To The Bully:
”We encourage girls to go and have a conversation with the person they might be having an issue or a conflict with.” Sometimes, she might not know she is having such a profound effect on another person, Thompson said.
If a girl suspects she might be the one inflicting pain on someone else, Parsekian urges her to reach out to get help, too. “[The Kind Campaign] is here for you just as much. We’ve all been on both sides.” Parsekian also offered some perspective and said, “We never sat down with a bully who said they were happy about it.” She added: “You will look back on this experience and regret it.”
For more information, visit KindCampaign.com. Parsekian and Thompson are embarking in October on a tour to speak at schools that will continue throughout the year. Both founders are active on social media, and more information about the anti-bullying charity can be found on Twitter with the handle @kindcampaign.
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