A word from our Founder:
My name is Shawn Edgington, entrepreneur, acclaimed author (The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media) and founder of The Great American NO BULL Challenge, a social action organization that inspires teens from around the world, to take a stand against bullying and to promote digital responsibility, leadership and social action through filmmaking. We provide the framework and motivation for marginalized youth to create powerful short films and Public Service Announcements that spark dialogue on the most important issues affecting their lives today. I started the organization in 2011 after my teenage daughter survived a devastating bullying episode on Facebook, which lead to a physical confrontation.
The NO BULL Challenge requests support to help build a sustainable outreach effort to engage, empower and support a larger community of NO BULL teen filmmakers and their teams, including screenwriters, editors, actors, and crew. Through the creative process and the showing of the NO BULL films, these teens are encouraging community engagement through dialogue, leadership development, and collaboration. The youth openly address bullying prevention, the devastating affects it causes, and the importance of digital responsibility. Through the power of film, music, and script writing, these teens reach out and educate their peers, their parents, and their teachers about how to have a positive impact on their lives and community. They are “Creating with Purpose.“
“Being a victim or perpetrator of school bullying, the most common type of school violence, has been frequently associated with a broad spectrum of behavioral, emotional, and social problems. Suicide is third leading cause of mortality in children and adolescent in the United States of America and around the world.” Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine
The NO BULL Challenge’s mission is to empower teens to impact their on and off campus communities by addressing bullying, cyberbullying, and digital responsibility. We do this by producing an online video competition and honoring the winning filmmakers. To celebrate the student’s efforts in demonstrating leadership and spreading awareness, The Challenge produces the NO BULL Teen Video Awards (TVA’s) and National Education Conference. We then use the award winning teen films and scripts to create educational resources which are then offered, free of charge, to educators and others. This provides a powerful teen centric, peer-to-peer platform used to educate and encourage dialogue about the importance of bullying prevention and digital responsibility. NO BULL impacts millions of teens, spreading awareness in a way that encourages positive change-making at the most meaningful level, peer-to-peer.
We are creating the next generation of social entrepreneurs prepared to continue to create positive change in their communities through stories that have the power to transform how we think and act. Through filmmaking, “They can explore their views in-depth, gaining new insights and creating work that can change their lives and the lives of others.”
An Innovative Solution:
Through digital media, we provide teens the platform, incentives and tools to create a global network of peer-to-peer learning environments, addressing issues important in their lives, as well as an opportunity to leverage their work and amplify their voice using their creativity, leadership and entrepreneurial spirit.
Many programs exist to combat bullying and intolerance. Most take a top down approach where adults educate other adults or youth. These programs are presented in a direct and serious format. The NO BULL Challenge, in contrast, targets the problem where the problems occur, at the youth level, in a positive and pro-active manner, without preaching. NO BULL encourages youth to address this topic in their own voice and provides the freedom to create, in a language and format (music, script writing and video) that allows them to speak directly to their peers. This provides a powerful catalyst for change, inspiring imagination and a new understanding within the teen community. By addressing the YouTube generation through visual and social media, for and by youth, the message is heard, shared and most importantly, received in a way that affects real change.
At the end of the four-month NO BULL Challenge, NO BULL produces the Teen Video Awards, a fun filled blend of Oscars meets the Grammys, where the award winning teen change-makers are given the coveted “Nobel” Award. Amidst the fanfare of the red carpet festivities and media exposure and interviews, celebrating teens from around the world, something special happens. In the words of last year’s NO BULL Documentary of the Year Award, R. Austin Barker, “… As a filmmaker who has gone through his own personal battles with bullying, NO BULL gave me the perfect opportunity to share a piece of myself with the world, and hopefully change it. Because of this organization, I have lived some amazing experiences … I couldn’t be more thankful for….”
We will continue to measure our success through the number and quality of submissions to our film competition and our ability to build an active and global community through social media, partnerships and outreach. My dream is for our positive teen created messages of tolerance to become the new norm on school campuses and other teen communities around the world. Social action at the youth level.
Other anti-bullying organizations have tried the contest approach and we support and applaud their efforts. Our comprehensive five-prong format of the video contest, red carpet awards show, education conference, The NO BULL Academy, and the use of social media (NO BULL Nation, etc.) creates a sustainable and scalable program which has the long-term and on-going impact on empowering our youth to change the world for the better – on their level.
Founder, The Great American NO BULL Challenge