FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 29, 2021
PRESS RELEASE: TV Personality Tan France and Act To Change Launch Second Anti-Bullying Workshop Series and Virtual School Visits
80% of Asian American students experience bullying, and ongoing education series with Tan France aims to combat that
WASHINGTON — Act To Change, a national nonprofit organization working to end bullying among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth, is hosting its second series of Homeroom with Tan France, anti-bullying workshops and virtual school visits with TV personality Tan France that began last December. 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.
Since March 2020, Stop AAPI Hate has had more than 6,600 incident reports, and we know this is an undercount. Misinformation around the spread of the COVID-19 virus, inflammatory racist rhetoric and exacerbated bullying experienced by AAPI youth both this year and last year led to increased incidents across the country. Act To Change’s 2021 Asian American Bullying Survey found that 80% of Asian American students experience bullying. Following the success of the first series where 94% of student participants felt proud of their identities after joining Homeroom with Tan France, Act To Change will be holding a second series of workshops on July 30, 2021 to continue the conversation to help address and prevent the bullying AAPI youth face.
As a member of Act To Change’s advisory council, Tan France proposed the idea of Homeroom with Act To Change to visit schools to speak with students directly about bullying. 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 third annual National AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate in May 2021.
“Back to school season can be a time of stress for a lot of kids in the country, as returning to school often means a return to the bullying they might experience. Kids are often targeted by bullies because of differences they don’t understand,” said Tan France. “I am happy to once again be partnering with Act To Change on its Homeroom series to ensure that when we send our kids back to school we are empowering them to stand up to bullying in their schools and in their communities. If we teach our kids how to identify and advocate against bullying now, we can set them up to be safe and compassionate now and into the future.”
Nominations for middle and high schools were collected for the Homeroom workshops, and four schools have been selected for this year’s round of workshops. Seven students and one faculty member from each school will participate in the workshop led by Tan France.
Tan will be virtually visiting the following schools for its second series:
- Westfield High School, Westfield, NJ
- Black Pine Circle, Berkeley, California
- Boston Arts Academy, Boston, MA
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?”
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.
To learn more about last year’s program and the ten participant schools, click here.