Local Group Sponsors R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Conference to Fight Bullying Problem


TheFirst annual Stand for the Silent in the Heartland R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (RespectEveryone As a Person, to Encourage Courageous acTion) Conference will be held onSaturday, October 19 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the YWCA, 211 E Fonner Park Road, GrandIsland.

YWCABoard member and President of the group Jody Backer shares, "More than 160,000 students in the United States stay home fromschool each day from fear of being bullied. People who are bullied find itdifficult to concentrate, show a decline in grades or work performance and loseself-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth. We want to provide resources forbuilding respect."

YWCAExecutive Director, Anita Lewandowski Brown adds, "We are proud to be a partnerbecause bullying is an issue that negatively, and sometimes lethally, affectschildren in our city and in our world. Bullyingaffects witnesses as well as targets. Witnesses often report feeling unsafe,helpless, and afraid that they will be the next target." Part of theYWCA mission statement is to promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.Respect is one aspect of meeting this mission.

Theconference will offer an impactful icebreaker, a panel where youth and adultsshare their experiences with bullying and speakers including Ann Greving Brown,Rick Huls, Michelle Walker and Officer Jason Urbanski. Vikki Deuel, member ofthe National Purple Hands Project Board of Directors will offer a call toaction for the community and wrap up the conference. Bullying is acommunity-wide issue that must no longer be ignored or thought of as a rite ofpassage. Everyone has a role in addressing bullying situations and changing theculture in a community, school or business. Never underestimate the power ofone person.

Conferenceregistration will begin at 8:30 a.m. There is no cost to attend this conferenceand a light lunch will be served. Groups from Hall County Suicide Preventionand Bullyproof will be available with resources at the event. Adults and youthage 11 and above are encouraged to attend.

Formore information about how to give your time, talent, tenacity and financialsupport to support this conference or the YWCA of Grand Island, please contact Anitaat 308-384-9922 or visit