Sharing stories and strategies to safely address bullying
The Upstanders is a year-long, film program about kindness, respect, resilience, and the power of connection to end bullying.
The Upstanders explores all sides of bullying, from the brain science to how it plays out from subtle scenarios to full blown bullying. Social media’s power means that bully behavior is now a 24/7 phenomenon, where even changing schools, jobs and phone numbers, or deleting accounts cannot stop the cycle. Covid has increased the incidence of cyber-bullying by 70%. The Upstanders film program shares safe proven strategies and is rooted in character building. It inspires kindness, honesty, respect, empathy, trust and connection.
Weaving together personal stories of kids and their families, as well as educators, brain-scientists and mental health experts, The Upstanders shows the importance of safely modeling empathy and resilience to transform attitudes and action. It breaks down power dynamics and highlights new laws and established programs that are already reducing bullying in schools, the workplace and other communities. It shows that everyone is needed to eradicate bullying, and gives all of us the confidence and tools to become 'Upstanders'.
The Impact of The Upstanders
Said the film program provided helpful tools & tips on how to be an Upstander
Intend to practice some of the tools & tips from the film program
Said The Upstanders changed the way they look at bullying behavior
Think The Upstanders should be shown at every organization or school
"I’ve seen a lot of movies about bullying. But the focus on brain science and how bullying has evolved was very interesting and made me think differently."
6th Grade Student
"What struck me is that we need a cultural shift in our school. I feel like we need to start emulating what we saw in the film – celebrating kindness, rather than consequences for mean behavior."
Middle School Teacher
Experts from the Film
Vice President, Education Outreach & Engagement, Common Sense Media
Dr James R Doty
Director of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine Founder & Director of CCARE
Director of the Office of Learning & Support, Colorado Dept Education. Co-founder of Stand for Courage
CEO & Co-Founder, Daybreaker; author of Belong
Community Builder, Founder of The Big Quiet
The Molak Family
Founders of David's Legacy Foundation
Our Programs in Schools and Communities
The Upstanders is a year long, film-based education program that integrates story, conversation, evidence based, activities, tips and a library of resources. We provide a lot of flexibility in how the program is easily delivered, so you can customize the experience to best suit your community.
- Choice of in-person, to live virtual events
- Educator and facilitator onboarding, (one short expert panel that addresses FAQ is also provided)
- Year long engagement support to troubleshoot any challenges and sharing how other communities are finding success in engaging with the program in community and with members at home.
Our Creative Coping Toolkit (CCT) dashboard provides easy access to onboard, rollout, promote and run the program including follow-up support to reach your entire community for maximum engagement.
- Includes communication materials, discussion guides, prompts, reflections, tip sheets, in-community and at home activities
- We regularly stay in touch to help keep you on track
- New film content added regularly to keep the program relevant and engaging
- Subtitled and translated into multiple languages
Clips from the film
Clips from Recent Panel Discussions
Film Director Scilla Andreen speaking with anti-bullying spokeswoman and author Eleni Theodorou
David’s mother Maurine Molak talking about the impact of David’s Law
“I left feeling guilty. I know I’ve been a bystander. I don’t want to be a part of making people feel badly. I know I can do better.”
“It was the first few moments of the film that stayed with me. Kids have more power than ever now – the power that is all the more potent with immediacy. Our focus needs to be on teaching kids how to slow down and reflect on their choices. I think we need to make decision-making a more concrete part of our character education pieces; this film really put that into the spotlight for me.”
“Great analysis of the various issues with clear evidence that not only helped to enlighten, but more importantly elicit sympathy from viewers. As a teacher of Holocaust studies, the bystander effect was thorough and deeply analyzed; my students immediately connected to this.”
“I think this documentary really reflects what our world is like today. But as bad as things seem, I left hopeful that we can make a change. And I know I can be a part of this change.”