Save the Date: March 5, 2011, 9AM – 1PM Albany Addresses Bullying: Creating a Community of Respect

Albany Addresses Bullying: Creating a Community of Respect


Miki Kashtan presents:
For the Benefit of All Children
A Compassionate Perspective on Bullying

The phenomenon of bullying involves everyone in the school community. Although the children who are bullied suffer in acute and immediate ways, other children, including the bullies themselves, are also affected. In addition, teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents have a high stake in addressing and resolving the challenge of bullying and often feel helpless to know how to respond. What would it take to address the issue of bullying with compassion for everyone involved? This talk offers a framework for taking shared responsibility, as a community, to respond to incidents of violence in ways that restore trust and respect. By looking at the causes of violent behavior this talk also shows ways of transforming the conditions that contribute to violence happening in the first place.

Speaker Bio: Miki Kashtan is a co-founder of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication. She leads workshops and intensive retreats in Nonviolent Communication and offers mediation, meeting facilitation, coaching, and training for organizations throughout the United States and in Japan, Europe, Brazil, and Africa. She supported the US Department of Peace campaign with monthly conference calls between 2005 and 2009. In 2007 she facilitated the 3rd Summit of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace in Japan, and in 2008 the 1st Summit of the African Alliance for Peace, a regional segment of the global group. Miki hosts the Conflict Hotline, a monthly live call-in TV show on the Berkeley Community Media channel BETV, which can be viewed on YouTube at She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Berkeley and her articles have appeared in Tikkun magazine, Communities magazine, and Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice. Miki is inspired by the contribution that NVC can make to social change movements and values sharing these skills with leaders and activists.

Steve Dewarns presents:

Officer Steve Dewarns will be presenting "Cyber Bullies" and will cover the following: Technology our children are using, how kids communicate, the different types of bullies, why children don't report online abuses, how cyber bullies are more psychologically damaging than the average playground bully, the new California Law on Online Impersonation and what that means to students, what children/parents and schools should do to help combat this problem.

Speaker Bio: Officer Steve DeWarns is a police officer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has 20 years experience and his expertise is in the field of Online Child Exploitation Investigations. Officer DeWarns is the founder of Internet Child Safety. For the past 11 years, Officer DeWarns has dedicated himself to the teaching of online safety to parents and children. He has worked with the F.B.I.’s Innocent Images and the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force. His most recent appearances were on the NBC Today Show (Topic: Teen Prank, The Dr. Phil Show (Topic: Cyber Bullies) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Media Safety Guide. He also currently serves on a Consumer Advisory Board for McAfee.

Breakout Sessions

Roxy Manning presents:
Responding Compassionately to Bullying
Creating Dialogue that Leads to Connection for All

Concerned bystanders are often at a loss about how to respond to a bullying situation in a way that effectively addresses the underlying causes and provides hope for a different behavior to emerge. A lack of understanding about the reasons underneath the bullying behavior, combined with a deep desire to protect the child who has been bullied, can often lead to responses to a bullying incident that result in shame, anger, or disconnection between the parties involved. In this breakout session, participants will be asked to present typical bullying scenarios they have encountered. They will then be coached in connecting compassionately with the bully, by identifying the motivating factors underneath the bullying behavior. They will also practice helping the bullied child identify and verbalize the impact of the experience in a way that supports compassionate understanding by all. This breakout session presents skills that can be used by all members of the community: students, family members, teachers, and staff.

Speaker Bio:   Roxy has been using NVC in her coaching practice since 2003 and has been teaching NVC since 2005. She is a trainer with BayNVC's North America NVC Leadership Program and has been working with BayNVC as a trainer to increase their range of offerings in the South Bay both for parents and for couples. She is a main organizer for the annual New York Intensive, and one of the organizers and trainers for the three recent NVC and Diversity Intensives. Roxy has also been working with BayNVC and the NVC Academy to offer advanced training and coaching focused on NVC in clinical settings to psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other mental health professionals and agencies. Roxy holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Binghamton University, NY.

Louise Rafkin presents:
Creating Compassionate Communities

This workshop focuses on creating communities of Kindness from home, to school, to the world. Specifically what kind of cultural climate are we making for our kids, and ourselves? Let's strategize ways to address the problem of bullying at it's root. We'll explore communication, our expectations, values, and assumptions. Bullies lack impulse control, empathy and respect. How can we turn that around? Victims of bullying often lack confidence and a sense of belonging; what can be done to help kids feel empowered? And what about looking at ourselves as role models for our kids’ behavior? This will be a fun, participatory session, open to all.

Speaker Bio: Louise Rafkin heads Studio Naga, an award-winning martial arts center in North Oakland. She is creating curriculum about how to use martial arts principles for parenting and teaching life skills.

Megan Cowan presents:

Participants will learn mindfulness, a mental technique that can help individuals, families, and teens. You will hear a brief definition and history of mindfulness, a description of how it's being used with young people, learn some mindfulness exercises focusing on emotions, and have time for discussion and sharing of how to integrate mindfulness into life and relationships.

Speaker Bio: Megan Cowan is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Programs at Mindful Schools. She has trained thousands of young people and hundreds of educators. Her organization has provided mindfulness training for over 10,000 students and 450 educators in 38 schools. 30 years of research shows that mindfulness has a wide range of benefits including stress reduction, self awareness, reduced anxiety, and emotional regulation, among other things. This school year, Marin School and Cornell have received the Mindful Schools training school-wide.

Lynn Bravewomon presents
Inclusiveness in Schools and LGBTQ Youth

The positive and supportive actions of school and community adults can transform the experience of actual and perceived LGBTQ and straight allies from fear, isolation and anxiety to pride, belonging and empowerment to succeed in school. An overview of action steps and strategies for educators and parents will be provided. GSA student representatives will describe their day-to-day experience and school and offer their suggestions of the support they see is needed.
Speaker Bio: Lynn Bravewomon is a Safe and Inclusive Schools Educational Consultant working in the Bay Area for over 20 years. She supports public and private school communities as they reform school culture and climate into equitable, inclusive environments where all students thrive. She is also the coordinator of the Safe and Inclusive Schools Program for the Hayward Unified School District. She may be reached at or 510-303-5052.

Helen Perdue with Safe School Ambassadors presents:
Bullying Prevention

This workshop will help participants gain a better understanding and vocabulary of bullying and other forms of mistreatment. Communication, intervention and advocacy tools and strategies, including ways to encourage your child to talk about difficult topics with adults, will be discussed.

Speaker Bio: Helen Perdue, MA, brings great passion and experience to her work as Trainer for the Safe School Ambassador Program. As a classroom teacher and educational leader for over a decade, Helen believes that students and educators can play a vital role in effecting positive change in their school communities when given the tools and support. While Helen taught at a charter middle school in Oakland, Helen facilitated the school’s cultural reform process, with the particular goal of reducing the level of violence and bullying at the school. For her Masters Field study, Helen developed and taught curriculum that empowered students to research and positively address problems of ‘gang culture’ in their community.

Nancy Henderson Presents:
Protecting and Creating a Community of Respect for Students with Disabilities

We will focus on what Albany Schools are doing 1) to help students with special needs cope with bullying and 2) to foster understanding and compassion for such students. We will discuss strategies being employed at both elementary and secondary levels to help special needs students deal effectively with teasing, name-calling, and bullying. General education students from Albany High School who participate in programs to support those with special needs will discuss their experiences. Simulation exercises and video clips will provide insight into the experiences of students living with developmental disabilities. Let's consider this a forum for community collaboration on how we can support those most vulnerable among us to feel worthy, welcome, and safe.

Speaker Bio: Nancy Henderson is the Adapted Physical Education Specialist for Albany Unified School District. She has been teaching for 30 years and is committed to utilizing games, sports, and fitness activities to promote tolerance and understanding among people with a wide range of abilities.

Kidpower Track

Erika Leonard presents:
Bullying and Other 'People Safety' Problems: Kidpower Skills to Stop Big Problems

Bullying, teasing, harassment, and other People Safety problems can make life harder for kids at school, at home, or in the neighborhood. The good news is that a few simple skills can stop most problems before they start and can also prevent problems with people from escalating. Many kids have learned these skills and used them to turn around bullying problems quickly and effectively.

This workshop is for kids together with their parents/caregivers. Families will learn ways to practice and build powerful skills for taking charge of personal safety with peers, siblings, and others as well as to adapt them as situations change. The first two hours focus on 'real world' skills; the last hour focuses on how to apply the same principles and concepts to safety online. Attendance for the first two hours is required in order to participate in the last hour.

Speaker Bio: Kidpower Program Manager Erika Leonard has worked with Kidpower for more than 16 years, initially as a volunteer and advisor and then as an instructor, coordinator, senior program leader, supervisor of new instructors, and member of the international training team. Erika has extensive experience leading Kidpower "People Safety" skills workshops for people of all ages and abilities with an emphasis on tailoring skills for people with special needs related to disability, trauma/crisis, advanced age, and very early childhood. This includes working with parents and professionals to help others learn skills to be safe with people everywhere they go. Erika has more than a decade of experience teaching children, teens, parents, and caregivers skills to manage bullying with confidence.
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