This dignity-themed high school performing arts competition was created to raise community awareness of bullying-related issues and empower youth to be advocates for change in their homes, schools, and communities. Proceeds from the event will support bullying prevention and intervention efforts in the participating schools, as well as the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, who works to protect children from victimization.
The annual Safe Schools Initiative Seminar is a forum for educators, law enforcement, first responders and others with a stake in school safety to come together and learn about important topics to help serve and protect our children and our communities. Started in 2004, this initiative has always been a collaborative effort. Principal planning partners and sponsors include the Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation; Utica National Insurance Group; the U.S. Secret Service, Buffalo Field Office; the University at Buffalo (Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention and University Police); the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of New York; Erie County District Attorney’s Office; and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, New York Office. Many community partners support the initiative, including Charter Communications, Doyle Security Systems, SUNY Erie Community College, the FBI, New York State Leadership Group, and the New York State Police.
The Alberti Center periodically co-hosts special events including film screenings for documentaries and stories that directly relate to the mission of the center and promote bullying awareness and prevention. We have also participated in panel discussions focused on the content of the films and provide resources to audience members in the community who attend these events.
Dr. Amanda Nickerson served on the panel to discuss the film with Pat Breux, (Suicide Prevention Center of New York) and Barbara Bernstein (MHA of Westchester County) in collaboration with the Mental Health Association in New York State, Inc. (MHANYS).
The film screening was followed by a panel discussion featuring Andrea Nikischer, assistant professor of adult education at Buffalo State College, and Amanda Nickerson, professor of counseling, school, and educational psychology and director of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at the University at Buffalo.
Audrie & Daisy is based on the true story of two high school girls who were assaulted by boys they knew. This urgent real-life drama examines the ripple effects on families, friends, schools, and communities when two underage young women find that sexual assault crimes perpetrated against them have been caught on camera and spread online.
The Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention and EmbraceWNY co-sponsored a film screening and discussion at the Amherst Dipson Theatre on Thursday, March 3 2016 of:
The David Dance
Away from the microphone, David is soft spoken, shy and unsure of himself. However, as his on-air alias, "Danger Dave" - host of the local radio show "Gay Talk" in Buffalo, New York - he's poised, witty and every listener's best friend. His sister, Kate, is a thrice divorced banker with a yen for classical music and cats. Though successful, the siblings suffer from a secret, yet vast sense of inadequacy. Kate decides to adopt an orphan in Brazil and asks David to be a father figure. Meanwhile, David grapples with his self-doubts while gawkily romancing his co-worker. Past and present intertwine in this bittersweet winter's tale of a man learning to love and accept himself.
CAST: Don Scime, Guy Adkins, Antoinette LaVecchia
DIRECTOR: Aprill Winney
"Submit the Documentary exposes the most epic struggle in the digital, Internet age: cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is bullying by means of electronic technology committed through email, instant messaging, mobile applications, social media, chat rooms, and blogs or through messages and images sent through a cell phone. Because of the anonymity, kids who never thought of being a bully are becoming harassers. By exploring the complicated dynamics behind cyberbullying, Submit the Documentary describes the impact and outcomes of advanced technology and human nature in a lawless, new, social frontier.
In the worst cases, kids and teens take their own lives as the families in Submit the Documentary know all too well. Their narratives describe their close encounters with cyberbullying in heart wrenching detail compared to the lighthearted innocence of kids blithely describing their experience with sexting.
Submit the Documentary demystifies the problem by including numerous experts who enlighten parents and viewers to the subculture of social media that children are participating in every day. The experts explain the extent of the problem, roadblocks to solutions, and offer potential, unconventional solutions."
Hosted by: Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention, Center for Literacy & Reading Instruction, Gender Institute, and Wellness Education Services
The murder of Matthew Shepard, in October of 1998, was a devastating tragedy that made countless headlines around the world. As people denounced the hatred and senseless violence that caused Matthew’s death, a much-needed dialogue about hate crimes and intolerance against the LGBT[Q] community began and continues to this day. His tragic story brought the reality of inequality and vicious, irrational contempt into the public consciousness and set the stage for the landmark Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2009.
Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine follows director Michele Josue, a close friend of Matt's, as she travels to pivotal locations in Shepard’s life, interviewing other friends and family members, and gaining insight into the beautiful life and devastating loss of Matthew Shepard.
While we've come a long way, LGBT[Q] inequality and hate crimes are still very real today, and parts of Matt's story are unfortunately still very much a part of young people's realities. Though framed through a very personal lens, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine tells a universal story that highlights the responsibility we have now to make sure young people around the world are not at risk of falling victim to the same story ending Matt was."
University at Buffalo groups -- including the Jean Alberti Center for the Prevention of Bullying Abuse and School Violence -- hosted a screening of the documentary Bully at Dipson's Amherst Theater, 3500 Main St., Buffalo.
UB groups including Amnesty International, UB's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Alliance, the Honors College and UB's Wellness Center joined the Alberti Center in hosting the showing of the documentary. The film tells the powerful stories of five individuals and families affected by relentless bullying.
The film aims to be a catalyst for change in the way that parents, teachers, children, and society in general deal with bullying.
Dr. Amanda Nickerson, director of UB's Alberti Center, offered her insights into the cause and prevention of bullying in schools.
The Alberti Center joined the Spread the Word: Inclusion (previously Spread the Word to End the R-Word) Western New York committee in 2014. Spread the Word: Inclusion is a global campaign working towards inclusion for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. According to the Special Olympics: “The motivation for the campaign was driven by a united passion to promote the positive contributions people with intellectual disabilities make to communities around the world combined with a simple call to action that also symbolizes positive attitude change and a commitment to make the world a more accepting place for all people.” It started as Spread the Word to End the Word, a US campaign to encourage people to pledge to stop using language that is offensive to people with disabilities, but broadened both its goals and its scope in 2019.
According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center: "Bullying prevention and suicide prevention share common strategies in three areas: (1) school environment, (2) family outreach, and (3) identification of students in need of mental and behavioral health services (and helping these students and their families find appropriate services)." The Suicide Prevention Coalition of Erie County, established in 2012, is a group of community stakeholders including but not limited to mental health, substance abuse, prevention education, various school districts and county leaders like the Dept. of Mental Health, Dept of Health and the Erie County Medical Examiner’s office. The primary goal is to work to build competent communities for Youth Suicide Prevention in New York State. The Alberti Center joined the coalition in 2017, and is an annual co-sponsor of Suicide Prevention Week activities at UB during the month of September, which is Suicide Prevention Month.