Admin’s Note: This is a guest post from JP Schuerman, EVP and General Manager of MWW’s Western Region.
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to meet Jane Clementi, the stalwart mother – and now anti-bullying advocate – of Tyler Clementi, the bright-eyed co-ed who was bullied to suicide by his roommate, who deemed it appropriate to broadcast intimate, private moments of Tyler in his dorm room for public spectacle and judgment online. Simply because he was gay.
Bullying is not an issue limited to religious, lifestyle or behavioral judgment. Actually, no one is immune – the recent cyberbullying attacks against Curt Schilling’s daughter simply reinforce the fact that any insecure individual armed with social media will attack anyone and anything. The effects are chilling, and quite frankly, revolting.
We as a society, as consumers, as corporations, have a responsibility in this rapidly growing and spineless movement. As individuals, institutions and industry, we can make a difference. Every day, we make choices to assuage peers and influencers to buy our products, to believe in our brands – to create a movement around an item. We can do the same, if not more powerfully so, to affect change by leveraging this collective strength to move a society towards widespread consideration of others. We have the power to impact how our youth feel about themselves, and in establishing governance in the consequences of bullying actions.
Friends, colleagues, clients and stakeholders – it’s time. Time to harness the powers we wield to dissolve the circular firing squads among our youth and empower a generation to enact real change. Real progress. Real accountability and consequence.
Thank you Jane Clementi. Thank you Curt Schilling, for taking a stance and boldly proclaiming that bullying is not only wrong, but also shameful, and it’s not representative of the society we strive to be.
This isn’t special interest. This isn’t personal. It isn’t corporate, nor is it political. It’s collective. Talk about power.
As an executive, a politico, a brother, son, and a partner, I commit to this change.