Have you ever wondered what would happen if a MLB team partnered with a nonprofit to take a good hard look at bullying? The result would be Defeat the Label and the Detroit Tigers Strike Out Bullying!
On Wednesday, June 8th, Defeat the Label had the opportunity to partner with the Detroit Tigers to present an 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; a former member of the championship winning Michigan State Basketball team and motivational speaker for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Barbara McQuade; United States District Attorney; FBI SAC David Gelios from the Detroit office of the FBI and Mary Drew from Michigan’s Attorney General’s OK2SAY program. The speakers shared their stories and detailed the impacts of bullying from the personal, legal and federal standpoints. 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 by reciting the Detroit Tigers, “Strike Out Bullying Pledge”.
Just before the game, Defeat the Label was able to honor our “Outstanding Upstander” of the year, Melanie Jones an 8th grader from Geisler Middle School in Walled Lake, Michigan by throwing out the first commemorative pitch of the game. As a participant in Defeat the Label’s Upstander Program, Melanie not only showed us what being an Upstander means, but also took the message above and beyond and used the skills she learned during the program to help multiple students in need this past year. Melanie is a great example of what being an “Upstander” truly is and Defeat the Label was proud to honor 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! Click here for more pictures!