Lee Fox is one of the SMWLA advisors and a youth culture expert focused on the “philanthropic mash-ups” and “cause impact” potential of generations Y and Z. Most recently, Lee founded KooDooZ, a social media learning environment which rewards youth for tackling humanitarian challenges. Lee is presenting her panel on Friday the 23rd called: The Power of Youth Voice- Solving the Problem of Cyber-Bullying.
People on this panel include 16-year old Kylie Morgan, a singer/song-writer dedicated a song: “It Matters What We Do” to Phoebe Prince who tragically took her life after being bullied by classmates. Kylie’s efforts to raise awareness to the issue of teen bullying earned her the opportunity to become a key-spokesperson for PACER.org, a non-profit dedicated to the same cause.
The panel also includes 14-year old Tyler Page, who launched his non-profit, “Kids Helping Kids” to help others kids in need. Together with his mother, Tyler runs a leadership academy purposed to teach other students how to help one another. Most recently, the leadership academy has adopted Rachel’s Challenge, a bullying and violence abatement program created after the Columbine shooting in 1999.
Lee Fox took some time to answer our six questions about her topics! Below are her replies that help elaborate on the panel and why it’s important to social media.
1) Why did you choose to participate in this particular panel? How did you get involved with this topic specifically?
As a mom and founder of a social enterprise dedicated to kids, it’s become increasingly clear that bullying is no longer a schoolyard–only concern. Parents simply can’t count on seeing the tell-tale physical signs of bullying—a black eye, bloody lip, torn clothes. Today’s bully uses Instant Messaging, e-mails, chat rooms and social websites they create to humiliate their peers. But the damage done by cyber bullies is no less real, and can be infinitely more painful.
Cyber Bullying Statistics
• 42% of kids have been bullied while online. 1 in 4 have had it happen more than once.
• 35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly 1 in 5 have had it happen more than once.
• 21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages.
• 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out of 10 say it has happened more than once.
• 53% of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful to another person online. More than 1 in 3 have done it more than once.
• 58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.
2) How has social media influenced or informed the discussion surrounding your topic?
Cyber-bullying refers to “bullying through information and communication technologies,” which means mediums such as, emails, mobile phone text messages, phone calls, internet chat rooms, instant messaging and social networking sites can significantly influence the instances of cyber-bullying.
3) What social media websites are key players for your topic? (linkedin, foursquare, facebook)
Facebook and MySpace, primarily.
4) How has your background in other fields shaped your approach to social media?
Mostly, I have used social media for social good. My personal approach is to share, validate and reward peers for their contributions to shared initiatives.
5) How can social media bring more awareness to your topic?
With 1-in-4 Americans under the age of 21, youth are our country’s largest population group. At their fingertips, kids have the same tools as their adult-counterparts to “activate” themselves as agents of change, and many have been personally responsible for raising tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for a cause or charity. At the same time, 1-in-7 parents attempt to ban their kids from using online social media — which creates digital divides, and silences youth voice. This workshop will serve to showcase how social media can be used to prevent (cyber) bullying and use the tool for social good.
6) If you had to describe your panel with three adjectives, what would they words be?
Youth, advocates, anti-bullying