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Lace Up Stand Up (LUSU) began as a social change project through a class in the Leadership Minor at the University of San Diego in the spring of 2012. Through the implementation of leadership theory, we address the root of bullying from its core and have developed a curriculum that empowers the entire community, not just the victims and bullies. Specifically, we believe that change can occur through teaching witnesses about bullying and leadership techniques. In this way, witnesses take an active role in preventing, intervening, and stopping bullying. Our organization is using neon green shoelaces as a means of spreading awareness about school bullying.
Our Mission: Our mission is to empower and unite youth against bullying. Lace Up Stand Up has developed a leadership curriculum that provides students with the tools that they need to combat bullying themselves through witness intervention techniques. Our program will succeed because:
• The focus of the program is on the witnesses. Teaching those who witness bullying to intervene and become allies to victim(s) increases the leadership exhibited by students, shows victim(s) that they have support in their time of need, and demonstrates to bullies that what they are doing is not acceptable.
• Facilitators meet students at their level. Our facilitation strategy follows a relational model of leadership. We share our experiences of being a witness, victim, or bully, and demonstrate the potential for change at every level of the community. LUSU offers a curriculum that provides strategies for the spectrum of leadership capacities and range of bullying that students may face.
• The program provides a platform where leaders develop leaders. LUSU focuses on teaching students facilitation and leadership techniques they can use in our workshop environment. We believe that this approach allows the program to come full circle in both the facilitators and the students learning and increases the impact LUSU can have while developing influential leaders.