Strike Out Bullying 2017

April 29, 2017

Play ball!

On Wednesday, April 12th, Defeat the Label had the opportunity to partner with the Detroit Tigers to present another anti-bullying “Class Outside Series” program to over 400 students from Metro Detroit and Ontario, Canada. Over 400 students gathered before the game to hear speakers such as, Anthony Ianni; former member of the championship winning Michigan State Basketball team and motivational speaker for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Anthony Tuf Francis; a former musician and current Assistant Professor of Teacher Development & Education Studies for Oakland University, Arizona Goulet; a Defeat the Label Student Ambassador, FBI SAC David Gelios; Detroit office of the FBI, Kevin Epling; Co-Director of Bully Police USA and together with his wife Tammy, spear-headed Michigan’s Anti-bullying Law “Matt’s Law”, and Mary Drew; Michigan’s Attorney General’s OK2SAY program.

The speakers shared their stories and experiences with bullying as well as detailed the impacts of bullying from every different angle. Anthony Ianni spoke about overcoming obstacles and believing that you can “LYD”-Live Your Dreams! Through his time in the classroom, Anthony Tuf Francis shared with us that sometimes a piece of us may act like a bully and not even recognize it. We must be aware of our actions and how they affect others. Mary Drew provided us with the details of the OK2SAY program and how if we see bullying, or anything else that may be suspicious or dangerous, we can email, text or call 24/7 to report it. They even brought all the speakers back on the field to throw out some OK2SAY t-shirts to the crowd! At the end of the presentations, President of Defeat the Label, Jeff Sakwa, and CEO of Defeat the Label, Kevin Goldman, encouraged students to stop bullying in their schools by being an Upstander, rather than a bystander. They challenged students to take a stand against bullying in their schools and communities. Then, with the help of some awesome volunteers on the field, the students recited the Detroit Tigers, “Strike Out Bullying Pledge”.

Erik Howard 04122017 vs MIN (151)


Just before the game, Defeat the Label honored our incredibly brave Student Ambassador, Arizona Goulet, by throwing out the first commemorative pitch of the game. Arizona, recent graduate of Almont High School in Michigan, continues to speak out against bullying at various Defeat the Label events and shares her personal story with such grace and inspiration for others. Defeat the Label was proud to provide her with this exciting opportunity!

A huge thank you goes out to all of our friends, partners and especially long long-time partner, AMP Radio, and the Detroit Tigers for making this possible! We look forward to next year’s “Strike Out Bullying” Rally! More pictures coming soon!

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