For Immediate Release
December 2, 2020
Act To Change, a national nonprofit organization working to address bullying among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth, is hosting its first series of Homeroom x Tan France, anti-bullying workshops and virtual school visits with TV personality Tan France. After the COVID-19 pandemic led to a sharp spike in cases of bullying and racism against the AAPI community, Act To Change created this initiative to increase awareness of bullying prevention and teach kids to become active anti-bullying advocates in their schools.
AAPI youth face bullying for a number of reasons, and unique cultural, religious, and language barriers can keep them from getting help. Misinformation around the spread of the COVID-19 virus, coupled with inflammatory political rhetoric, exacerbated bullying experienced by AAPI youth this year. Within three months, over 2000 cases of anti-Asian hate, violence and discrimination were reported to Stop AAPI Hate.
“Bullying is a universal problem. Kids who are perceived as ‘different’ are often ridiculed and targeted by their peers,” said Tan France. “Through our Homeroom series, Act To Change aims to ensure that kids have the resources they need to be advocates against bullying within their schools and communities. Teaching our youth to be strong and vocal about this issue from a young age is crucial in keeping them safe.”
France joined the Act To Change Advisory Council in July 2020, and was among many AAPI leaders who joined United We Stand, a virtual event hosted by the organization to mark the second annual AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate in May 2020.
Nominations for 6-12th grade schools were collected for the Homeroom workshops, and ten schools have been selected for the first round of workshops. Seven students and one faculty member from each school will participate in the workshop led by Tan France. The selected schools are:
- Ambassador School of Global Leadership , Los Angeles, CA
- Andrew P. Hill High School, San Jose, CA
- Brighton High School, Brighton, CO
- Da Vinci RISE High School, Los Angeles, CA
- DreamHouse Ewa Beach, Kalaeloa, HI
- The Head-Royce School, Oakland, CA
- Inglemoor High School, Kenmore, WA
- Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy, Kansas City, MO
- Salt Lake Center for Science Education, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Uplift Heights Secondary Preparatory, Dallas, TX
Following the workshop, all schools will hold a virtual or in-person assembly focused on bullying prevention, and take on two or more of the following actions within this school year:
- Gather books highlighting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) experiences from the school library and display it in a public location (virtually or in-person)
- Include a BIPOC book in its curriculum
- Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
- Host a faculty meeting surrounding the question: “What can our school do to prevent bullying and racism?”
During National Bullying Prevention Month in October, Act To Change held its Youth Rising conference, where France previewed the Homeroom series in a panel with student representatives from several of the selected schools.
Homeroom x Tan France is one of the several ways Act To Change has responded to the rise in xenophobia, and the organization plans to host multiple rounds of Homeroom series going into 2021.
Through the generous support of HarperCollins and Macmillan Publishers, Act To Change will provide each school a shelf of books written by BIPOC authors as part of the Homeroom series.
Act To Change is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to address bullying, including in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.