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Diversity Lecture Speaker Emily Bazleon to speak on Bullying, and how it’s Relevant to Students at GRCC


By Clare Kolenda

Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate and writer for the New York Times Magazine, will appear at the Fountain Street Church as the second speaker in the Diversity Lecture Series.

Bazelon, 42, will be speaking on her newest book released earlier this year, “Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy.” Her book has received several positive reviews by several reputable publications including Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

Emily Bazelon
Emily Bazelon

When asked about the reactions to her book, Bazelon said, “I’ve been really encouraged.” She also was pleased by the response from students around the country. “College kids are starting to go to other schools for bullying prevention. We’re in the middle of a cultural shift in the way we see bullying.”

For Bazelon, the topic of bullying is a personal one. As a child, she suffered from being bullied, and then witnessed her friend being bullied as well. She hopes college students will become active in trying to stop bullying from plaguing other children’s lives.

“Younger kids are really influenced by older kids,” Bazelon said.

Bazelon has made several television appearances, including on the Colbert Report, PBS NewsHour and The Today Show. Her journalism has been nominated for several awards, such as the 2011 Online Journalism Award and the 2011 Michael Kelly Award.

During her talk in Grand Rapids, Bazelon says she plans to clarify the definition of bullying, and what it takes to stand up against it.

Bazelon’s book focuses on raising more awareness of the causes of bullying from both the bully’s and victim’s point of view and how to instill the notion of empathy in today’s youth. It address some common beliefs about bullying and gives a new perspective on how to view bullying, a hot topic in the media as of late. Her book includes discussion on both cyber bullying as well as bullying in the school system.

Yet this topic isn’t just relevant for elementary kids on the playground, but for college students as well. “College students are still dealing with drama,” Bazelon said.

The event will take place at 7 p.m. at Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE. The event is free and open to the public.


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