Feb 222013

The “Step Up, Reach Out!” anti-bullying summit will be held at Loyola University Saturday (Feb. 19) for students and educators from several New Orleans schools.

For more information see the following press release:


The “Step Up, Reach Out!” anti-bullying campaign is bringing the city together against bullying with local partnerships, 20 workshops in five schools and culminating in a summit leading the establishment of anti-bullying campaigns in schools.

Held at Loyola University on Feb. 23, 2013 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., the summit will guide students and educators from several New Orleans schools in the development of an anti-bullying program specific to each school. The attendees will participate in games, activities, discussions and receive resources to address bullying. The activities are largely based on the campaign’s motto “Geaux K.I.N.D.,” where each letter stands for a step against bullying.

The campaign’s partners for the summit and other events are the Always Pursuing EXcellence youth center and the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays organization. Like PFLAG, Executive Director Lisa Fitzpatrick of APEX believes the partnership will be beneficial and effective.

“We like this campaign’s honesty and approach in how it doesn’t only present bullying but also teaches how to identify it and respond,” Fitzpatrick said. “The violence and social dysfunction we see on a daily basis in our youth is of concern, and the most credible voice to address young people are young people themselves.”

In addition to providing these organizations with information and programs, the campaign has also partnered with Fresco Cafe and Pizzeria and other sponsors to have part of their proceeds donated to anti-bullying efforts by APEX and PFLAG. As campaign Account Executive Dwayne Fontenette explains, partnerships will allow the campaign to extend past its February implementation.

“Our research shows that the most effective anti-bullying programs are long-standing, and so it’s important for us to develop partnerships that will outlive our campaign to ensure that the New Orleans community continues to actively stop bullying” Fontenette said.

The “Step Up, Reach Out!” campaign was designed by Loyola University students for the national Bateman Case Study Competition of the Public Relations Student Society of America. The team, which consists of Dwayne Fontenette, Haley Humiston, Charlie LaRock, Leah Whitlock and Vannia Zelaya, is also holding anti-bullying workshops and presentations in several New Orleans schools and at Loyola University.

Loyola University’s School of Mass Communication, which originated in 1922 with the creation of WWL radio, has earned the top three places in the national Bateman Case Study Competition for over 10 years.

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