New York Comic Con will feature its first End Bullying panel this weekend. The timing could not be better, with October being National Bullying Prevention Month. The panel, which takes place Sunday afternoon, will be the culmination of a weekend of anti-bullying activism and awareness at NYCC.
What role should social issues like bullying prevention play at a pop culture convention? In the early years, Comic Con was known primarily as a forum devoted to traditional comic characters. As Comic Con has grown and expanded and attracted more people (over 100,000 people have purchased tickets to attend this year’s NYCC), the scope of the panels and exhibits has widened, and more attendees want programming that reflects what is happening in the world around them.
Genuine bullying prevention is more than a slogan or a tweet. It includes deeper discussions of sexism, misogyny, racism and homophobia -- and whereas some would prefer to turn a blind eye to the prevalence of these contentious issues in geek culture and gaming, others believe it is time to talk it out in the context of entertainment and social justice.
Prior to the End Bullying panel, convention attendees should be sure to visit the Antibullying Coalition’s booth (#630), especially from 12:00 – 2:00 pm on Sunday, while celebrity photographer and NOH8 Campaign Co-Founder Adam Bouska will be holding an open photo shoot.
Throughout the weekend, the Antibullying Coalition's booth will be featuring the bullying prevention work and educational programs offered by its partner organizations and companies, such as Cartoon Network’s Stop Bullying: Speak Up; the Anti-Defamation League; Her Universe; GLSEN; NOH8; and the coalition’s newest partner, the Brave Girls Alliance, who will be invading Times Square on Friday in celebration of the International Day of the Girl.
The full details of Sunday’s panel are:
Title: End Bullying! Responding to Cruelty in Our Culture
Time: 3:45PM - 4:45PM
Location: 1A14 in The Javits Center, 655 West 34th Street, NYC
Speakers: Adam Bouska, Alice Cahn, Ashley Eckstein, Bonnie Burton, Brad Bell, Carrie Goldman, Chase Masterson, Jeff Parshley, Jenna Busch
Description: Have you or someone you love been a target of bullying? Join this life-changing discussion on how to overcome bullying and learn strategies to create witnesses and allies out of bystanders. Pop Culture Anti-Bullying Coalition Founder Chase Masterson (Star Trek, Doctor Who Big Finish) hosts this panel, marking NOH8’s 1st-ever New York Comic Con appearance, with Founders Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley, along with Brad Bell (Husbands), Bonnie Burton (Girls Against Girls: Why We are Mean to Each Other & How We Can Change), Jenna Busch (Entertainment Editor, Fan TV), (Ashley Eckstein (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Her Universe), Cartoon Network VP Alice Cahn (Cartoon Network’s Stop Bullying: Speak Up) and Jason Sirois (Anti-Defamation League).
Special topics include geek bullying, LGBT bullying, cyber-bullying, and analyzing how media and entertainment affect our attitudes toward bullying and aggression. Moderated by award-winning author Carrie Goldman (Harper Collin’s Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear). Bullying prevention to take over New York Comic Con!
In July, San Diego Comic-Con held its first ever End Bullying Panel, also created by the Antibullying Coalition. The success of that event set the wheels in motion for this weekend's programming at New York Comic-Con. May the force be with us all as we continue our work to end bullying.
Work to end bullying with your copy of Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear.
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