Keke Palmer's Saving Our Daughters Partners with The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington to Create “No Bullying Zones” in Washington, D.C.
Saving our Daughters (SOD) via actress, singer, and activist, Keke Palmer’s Cinderella Program and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington (BGCGW), have joined together to launch an initiative called the “No Bullying Zone” with the aim of combatting bullying among young girls. As suicide rates are climbing among youth, this subject is of utmost concern, not only to both organizations but also society as a whole.
SOD works with girls from multicultural backgrounds through theater, film, culinary arts, and literacy to help overcome bullying. In 2014, Keke Palmer invited underprivileged girls to her Broadway musical, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, where Keke was the first African American actress to play Cinderella on Broadway. The experiences gained from this once in a lifetime opportunity of attending a Broadway show led to the launch of the Cinderella program. Being a “Cinderella” means you take part in programming and lessons that bring awareness to the effects of bullying, teach healthy peer relationships, conflict management, and self-care skills through the arts. When looking for organizations to partner with to teach young women these life lessons, BGCGW was a natural fit.
Bullying and creating emotional safety spaces for youth has been an initiative within BGCGW for several years now. Most recently, BGCGW won an award for their work on combatting bullying within the Clubs, and as a result about 20 of their teens were invited to take part in a cyber bullying workshop with Instagram. BGCGW teens were given the opportunity to share their stories, explain why bullying and specifically cyber bullying is so prevalent today, and what they are doing to prevent it among their peers.
Through staff training and program implementation, this initiative aims to increase youth’s self-confidence and social and emotional feelings of safety while attending a Boys & Girls Club. The skills and confidence that the youth receive as a result of these programs transfer to their school, sports, and personal lives too. In today’s day and age where everything is technology focused and bullying comes in many forms, it’s more important than ever to teach these important lessons of confidence, caring, and belonging so that our youth are better equipped to make their communities a better emotional environment for all. It is because of the long-term value and opportunities that come from emotional and social safety, self-confidence, and respect for other’s differences, that companies like Instagram, AT&T, ESPN, Microsoft, and others have supported initiatives like this.
On Friday, July 19, BGCGW and SOD welcomed Emmy award winning and Fox 5 primary news anchor Shawn Yancy to Richard England Clubhouse 14 in Northwest Washington, D.C., as part of the kick-off for the “No Bullying Zone” initiative. Mrs. Yancy met with 30 young girls and shared her story on how she has managed bullying as a child and as an adult in her personal and professional life.
Over the next several months, BGCGW and SOD will continue to partner together to instill these important life lessons with the young women who attend the Washington, D.C.-based Clubs. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with celebrities like Shawn Yancy, Keke Palmer, and other Disney Channel stars, learn how bullying has effected them and discuss ways to overcome it together. These sessions will expose the club members to shared peer experiences and provide them with opportunities to build and practice skills around mindfulness, empathy, and respect. BGCGW and SOD are excited to announce this partnership and are eager to begin bringing awareness and change to bullying in the Greater Washington Community.