Goal for girls: Be kind?
When Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson confided in one another about having been bullied, they realized that they needed to do more than talk.
Four years after Lauren and Molly first opened up to one another, they’ve turned that talk into an international non-profit that empowers young women.
What do you get when you take two young women and add fierce determination, personal commitment, a minivan, two moms and a nationwide tour?
You get the Kind Campaign, a highly-acclaimed, international movement, documentary and school program based on the belief that kindness brings awareness and helps to heal the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl “crime.”
Fierce determination and personal commitment
I asked Parsekian to explain how the Kind Campaign began. She explained that their initial plan had been to simply film a documentary but once they began filming, they “were just in shock with how vulnerable women and girls were being about their experiences so we wanted to do more. That’s when we founded the Kind Campaign.”
Two young women
In February of 2009, Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson, two Pepperdine University students who each experienced female bullying first-hand, recognized a real problem and committed themselves to doing something to bring positive change. Since then, Parsekian and Thompson have filmed a documentary and made annual pilgrimages across the Unites States and Canada, spreading their message of kindness and hope.
I had the opportunity to speak with these two amazing young women and was left speechless by their selflessness and commitment to young women everywhere.
What are some of the reasons why kids bully? >>
Two mothers, a minivan and a nationwide tour
Each fall, they launch a new initiative that furthers their message.
During the first year, they traveled across the United States in a minivan with their mothers, filming their documentary.
In 2010, they hit the road again, committed to spreading their school assembly program in elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities.
In 2011, Parsekian and Thompson launched the Kind Campaign School Club Curriculum to help further the conversation and provide young women with a safe place to come together. These school clubs help to break down social barriers and cliques.
This year, they will focus on putting their assembly program into DVD form. Years of constant travel have taken their toll and these dedicated young women have come to realize that although the Kind Campaign is needed in so many places, they can only be in one place at any given time.
The Kind Campaign will, in Thompson’s words, “continue living and breathing through assemblies, the film, DVDs and the curriculum.”
The bottom line
We love the message these young women are sending.
They’ve changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of other young women and explain their mission this way: “Look, we know it’s hard to be a girl sometimes. We aren’t asking for everyone to become best friends... that’s simply unrealistic. However, we are suggesting something very simple: to stop the competition, stop the cattiness, stop the hate, and to be kind.”
Beautifully and powerfully put.