Cartoon Network: Stop Bullying, Speak Up!

Cartoon Network continues to address the issue of bullying with its new original documentary Speak Up, debuting Sunday, March 18 at 5:30p, and airing again at 8pm. The commercial-free telecast of the half-hour documentary is part of Cartoon Network's ongoing pro-social initiative Stop Bullying: Speak Up, which is designed to empower kids to help end bullying. image from

Speak Up features interviews with kids, most 8-13 years old, talking about the issue from all sides  some who have either been the target of bullies, bystanders in a bullying situation or, some who have been bullies themselves.

The special also features Cartoon Network's three hosts of Dude, What Would Happen, as well as Chris Webber (NBA All-Star), Matt Wilhelm (Pro BMX champion), and NASCAR drivers Trevor Bayne, Jeff Burton and Joey Logano all sharing their experiences about bullying and encouraging kids to find the best ways to reach out for help.

Before, during and immediately following the telecast, noted bullying prevention expert and author Rosalind Wiseman will provide further explanation of key bullying issues for kids and adults, answering viewer questions online at

Additionally, the entire Speak Up documentary will be posted the website for ongoing viewing by students, parents, educators and community leaders. Further viewing of Speak Up across multiple digital platforms will be made free of charge to customers through Comcast Xfinity, Facebook, iTunes, Xbox 360+Kinect and, each for at least two weeks following the premiere.

Trend Watch: Speaking the Language and Ministering to the Next Generation


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Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet and the American Life Project, recently spoke at the annual conference of the National Religious Broadcasters.

 This talk will focus on the media habits of Millennials and GenX and how their patterns of gathering and creating information are different in the digital age. 

Trend Watch: Ryan Seacrest on the Future of Television and Entertainment

image from ryanseacrest.comIn an interview this month with Fortune Magazine Ryan Seacrest talks about what he considers the exciting future of entertainment. 

We’re seeing platform, technology, and content all converging, and it’s happening quickly,” he says. “It’s exciting to me.

There’s an appetite for more original content than ever, and I have a company that creates content, whether it’s distributed in short form, reality form, live form, or game form.”

However, what stories might television viewers expect to see from the Emmy-award winning Jaime Oliver and record-breaking Kardashian’s producer?

However, what stories might television viewers expect to see from the Emmy-award winning Jaime Oliver 'Food Revolution' and record-breaking Kardashian’s producer?

Ryan reveals he desires: “to continue to produce shows that directly effect change. We’ve gone too long without addressing issues like child obesity, so to be able to tell those stories and help people through television is a powerful thing.”

You can read the entire piece in the January 2012 issue of Fortune Magazine.

Lady Gaga Teams Up with Harvard, MacArthur and the California Endowment to Launch the 'Born This Way Foundation'

GagaLady Gaga on Wednesday launched the Born This Way Foundation to support programs dealing with youth empowerment and help people facing bullying and abandonment.

To date, Lady Gaga has harnessed the power of the Internet to attract more than 44 million fans on Facebook and 15 million followers on Twitter.

The foundation, named after her Grammy-winning album and single of the same name, was launched by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta.

"My mother and I have initiated a passion project. Together we hope to establish a standard of Bravery and Kindness, as well as a community worldwide that protects and nurtures others in the face of bullying and abandonment."

It follows on the singer's interests in supporting youth issue. Last year she partnered with Virgin Mobile to raise awareness of homeless youth and after the suicide of bullying victim Jeremy Rodemyer she elevated the issue of bullying in schools into the national spotlight and even raised the issue with President Obama.

Born this way foundation
The Born This Way Foundation will be work closely with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The California Endowment, both focusing on youth empowerment.

The Foundation will also work with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, which focuses on the power of the Internet as a means to promote change.

CNN, Cartoon Network and Facebook Hold Town Hall on Bullying Epidemic

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CNN, Facebook, Cartoon Network and Time Inc. have teamed up for a special multi-platform effort aimed at taking a stand to help stop the bullying crisis. Tune in to the AC360° Town Hall “Bullying: It Stops Here” on Sunday, October 9 at 8pm ET, and the special week-long series that follows.


You can get involved by following @AndersonCooper and @AC360 and using the hashtag "#stopbullying" on Twitter.

If you or someone you know is experiencing bullying or harassment, please reach out for help. Here are some organizations that can assist you: Wants Youth to 'Give a Spit About Cancer'

image from Leukemia kills more children each year than any other disease, but YOU can do something about it.

Click here to find out more about's "Give A Spit About Cancer" campaign. Learn how you can start a donor drive at your school and how to sign up to swab your cheek and you could save a life.

That's it. Painless, easy, simple.

Here are some quick facts about leukemia and young people:

  • Leukemia kills more children each year than any other disease.
  • Young people age 18-24 are the bone marrow donors needed most.
  • Only 30% of patients needing a marrow transplant can find a match within their family. The rest rely on complete strangers.
  • Currently, the likelihood of finding a matching donor is 66 to 93 percent, depending on race or ethnicity. Minority donors are most needed.
  • Donating marrow isn’t as scary as it sounds — and there are 2 ways to give, one that’s much like giving blood but takes a bit longer.


Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), and Facebook Lined Up for Oprah's 'Lifeclass' Series

Oprah winfrey network logo Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn’t know the first thing about either.” —Marshall McLuhan

On October 10th Oprah Winfrey will launch an all-new five week series, Oprah's Lifeclass, where she will reflect on and share the lessons that she learned during the 25-year history of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

The Oprah's Lifeclass, which airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), will also feature an online companion course "Life Work" that will feature exclusive videos, articles, quizzes and advice from leading experts to help students get their life on track and moving in a new direction.


In a move that will surely appeal to the younger demographic, the Life Class series will also harness the power of Facebook as a learning platform and will feature a live post-show class meeting with Oprah on Facebook.

This isn't the first time that Ms. Winfrey has used emerging digital and social media in an edutainment  context. In 2008 Oprah used Skype to hold an Oprah's Book Club discussion with Eckhart Tolle. She joined forces with Anderson Cooper in 2009 to hold a Book Club webcast with Uwem Akpan.

For someone like myself, who has spent a good chunk of my time evangelizing the use of social media, education and entertainment as teaching tools, I'm beyond giddy that someone of Ms. Winfrey's stature is moving her network and voice in this direction.

What is truly exciting is to see OWN embrace both emerging social platforms like Facebook along with the web for online learning. Although, this shouldn't come as too much of a suprise that Ms. Winfrey is taking 'the classroom' anywhere the students are gathered and prepared to learn.

During her 25 years on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ms. Winfrey turned the network television into the world's biggest classroom. Whether it's building schools in Africa or educating her live audience in Chicago or viewers at home in San Antonio, Stockholm or Sydney, education has been at the core of Oprah's message.

You can sign up for Oprah's Lifeclass here.

Women, Girls and STEM Education

First Lady Michelle Obama recently announced a National Science Foundation​ initiative to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and provide flexibility to working parents in research fields.


This fact sheet takes a look at why bringing girls and women into STEM fields is so important—and what President Obama and his administration are doing to help.

Girls, Women and STEM Education

The Ryan Seacrest Foundation Launches 'The Voice' in Pediatric Hospitals in Atlanta and Philadelphia

image from Ryan Seacrest, known in Hollywood circles as the busiest (and nicest) man in showbiz and host of American Idol, has launched the Ryan Seacrest Foundation (RSF).

The mission of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation (RSF) is to enhance the quality of life for seriously ill and injured children through unique programs that utilize multimedia and interactive platforms to enlighten, entertain and educate.

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RSF’s first initiative is to build broadcast media centers, named THE VOICE, within pediatric hospitals for children to explore the creative realms of radio, television and new media as well as contribute positively to the healing process.


The Voice media centers have already opened in Atlanta and Philadelphia, with plans to eventually build up to 10 of the broadcast centers at pediatric hospitals around the country.


In addition, RSF will also reach out to the community and involve students from local journalism schools, colleges and universities to provide them with the opportunity to gain first hand experience in broadcasting, programming and operating a multimedia center.

There's lots of research in the educational media space on how the use of multimedia, social and digital technologies allows young people see themselves as an active participant, in the pilot's seat or director's chair, as they chart new connections between diverse and often unpredictable worlds of knowledge.

This is especially important for children who are critically ill. They spend so much time in the hospital letting doctors, nurses and other medical techs deciding what and when they do just about anything.

To be critically ill means giving up control. A lot of control. 'The Voice' project is important because it's the only part of a child's stay in the hospital where they--not the doctors or nurses--are in control.

They get to decide what song to play. They get to decide what button to push. Most importantly, it's a part of their day that doesn't revolve around heavy life threatening decisions, medicines, needles or any of the hard work of being a patient.

It's just fun. And that's the best medicine of all.

Connect with the Seacrest Foundation on Twitter and Facebook

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Goes High Tech

image from Those cutle little "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF boxes are going high tech!

Thanks to a partnership with Microsoft TAG, kids can now ask you to scan the barcode on the side of the box with your smartphone and donate any amount--on the spot.

No smartphone? No problem. You can also contribute $10 by texting the word "TOT" to UNICEF (864233).

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF just for teachers 

Lady Gaga Sings Tribute to Bullying Victim Jamey Rodemeyer, tells Little Monsters: 'Bullying is for Losers' [VIDEO]

Earlier this week Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14-year-old high school freshman from Buffalo, N.Y., committed suicide after enduring years of bullying for his sexuality. Jamey even shared his story by posting a video on YouTube as part of the 'It Gets Better' campaign.

Haus of jamey
Yesterday Jamey was buried by his family, and in his honor Lady Gaga dedicated her performance of "Hair" to him during a set at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. 

Rodemeyer was a huge Gaga fan, and even thanked her in his final blog post. His death seems to have had a profound effect on the pop star, who's announced on her Twitter that she wants to meet with President Obama to press for legislation that would make bullying a hate crime.


This isn't the first time the singer has leveraged her star power to shed a light on youth issues. Lady Gaga has also been a relentless supporter and advocate of homeless youth.

In 2010 Lady Gaga joined forces with Virgin Mobile RE*Generation, a pro-social initiative to provide awareness, funding and volunteerism to tackle youth homelessness.

Recent figures estimate that over two million youth (between the ages of 12 and 24) will experience at least one episode of homelessness each year and over 100,000 youth sleep on the street for 6 months or more in America

Youth homelessness is the result of other societal problems like poverty, drug abuse and addiction, mental illness and domestic violence which is often spiked in cases of homophobia. Young people who've grown up homeless often spend much of their adult lives homeless.

Facebook 101: Fighting Cyberbullying

Facebook 101: Fighting Cyberbullying

Cyndi Lauper Opens Housing Facility for Homeless LGBT Youth

image from On September 1st, Cindy Lauper is set to open the first permanent housing facility of its kind in New York City focused on providing housing for homeless families, LGBT youth and the elderly.

The facility, The True Colors Residence, will be located in Harlem.

'In New York City, a very disproportionate number (up to 40 percent), of homeless youth identify as L.G.B.T.

Even more disturbing are reports that these young people often face discrimination and at times physical assault in some of the very places they have to for help. This is shocking and inexcusable!' — Cyndi Lauper

Cindy is one of several celebrities and corporations who are using their star power to shine a focus on the issue of homeless youth. I've previously blogged about Lady Gaga and Virgin Mobile partnership on the Re*Generation project to raise awareness and donations for services that work with homeless teens.

On Friday, ABC News reporter Chris Cuomo had an hour long report on the plight of the 2 million homeless teens and the many challenges they face on the streets of America. If you missed it, I urge you to watch his report. It's truly heartbreaking and disgraceful that we have created an entire generation of disposible youth.

Kudos to Cindy Lauper, for standing up for our kids and showing her 'true colors' on the issue of homeles teens. Now, it's our turn.

There are many ways you can help homeless youth. Here are just a few charities that provide outreach services to homeless children and families.

FBI Child ID: A Free App to Locate Missing Children

FBI Kid App There are apps to keep your finances in order, and apps to keep your data safe. Now the FBI is offering a free app that could help authorities locate your children if they go missing.

The free iPhone application is called FBI Child ID and can be found at the iTunes store.

People who download it will be able to store identifying information about their children, such as photos, scanned fingerprints, height, weight and physical identifiers, in one file that is readily accessible on an iPhone.

The app is available only for the iPhone, but the FBI says it plans to make it available for other mobile devices in the near future.

The information is not being collected or stored by law enforcement authorities or iTunes, and is accessible only on the mobile device, where it is saved until it is emailed in the event of an emergency.