What is not voiced on negative behaviors in Hispanic communities affects community wellness, as in the case of youth bullying. Peer pressure, an adolescent "code of silence," marianismo as well as machismo come into play at high-Hispanic density campuses across the nation and Latino leaders are stepping up to address this.
Latina inspirational education advocate, Magdalena Gomez, has just launched her national campus speaking tour, “Breaking Silence, Saving Lives,” in conjunction with the release of her anthology, “Bullying: Replies, Rebuttals, Confessions, and Catharsis,” a must-read title this year for teachers, parents, community and youth leaders.
Magdalena Gomez, an award-winning Hispanic performance poet, playwright, art educator, columnist, and inspirational speaker, seeks to bring national attention to bullying in multicultural communities as she tours with “Breaking Silence, Saving Lives” to cities and schools across the nation. Maria Luisa Arroyo joined her in developing the ground-breaking “Bullying: Replies, Rebuttals, Confessions, and Catharsis,” anthology, following the tragic 2009 suicide death of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover. The book is unique as the first multi-cultural bullying anthology ever published in the United States and features Dr. Albert Bermel, a legend among theater scholars; Judith Ortiz-Cofer, author of over a dozen books that are part of U.S. school curriculums; our very own Judge William H. Abrashkin who reveals the poet within him; a 13-year old bully who confesses; youth who break silence for the first time; playwright Janis Astor Del Valle’s acclaimed play, Trans Plantations; and a 77 year-old elder who remembers how he stood up to bullies as a child; and so much more. It is also the first multi-generational work on the topic of bullying as its pages include poems, essays, testimonials, and plays written by first time writers from all walks of life and ages as well as content from acclaimed authors.
Magdalena Gomez is a celebrated Latina community advocate, engaging role model, and has been recognized for her innovative youth leadership development programs. She is also well known as the the founder and executive director of Springfield, Massachusetts’ Teatro V!da, The Other TV.
Gomez’ “Breaking Silence, Saving Lives” campus tour aligns with her lifelong mission to build youth leaders of conscience and creativity. Her “Breaking Silence, Saving Lives” keynote presentations and half-day seminars advance student training as peer educators in bullying prevention and are available to middle-schools, high schools, colleges, and university campuses as well as community forums, school districts, and teachers’ meetings. As an educator herself, Magdalena Gomez shares insights and tools based on her extensive experience and success with city youth programs as well as directing students in performing bullying prevention shows for their peers.
Magdalena Gomez’ program “Breaking Silence, Saving Lives,” and the book , “Bullying: Replies, Rebuttals, Confessions, and Catharsis,” represent tools not only for identifying and educating about bullying, but for acknowledging the triumphant outcomes of breaking silence and modeling creative ways out of victimization.
“As an artist and educators working with students on a daily basis, I know the value of engaging youth with information that modifies behaviors and leadership training that elevates them to guide social change in their social networks. As we launch this tour and book, I celebrate the many voices of healing who stepped up to participate in this project and honor the memory of all who have been the victims of bullying. Change lies in the minds and hearts of our young voices and I am proud to empower them to make a difference,” concludes Gomez.
For more information on these programs, click here.
Bullying: Replies, Rebuttals, Confessions, and Catharsis (Skyhorse Publishing,) is available in major bookstores across the country.
It amazes me how we keep on loosing children to this issue and how easy it can be solved. Too Bad....
Education and awareness in communities as well as youth empowerment are a starting point, We have to keep working on it.