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Empowering Bullied Youth through Art June 6th, 2011
Empowering Bullied Youth through Art

I recently learned about the You Will Rise Project, an anti-bullying initiative that encourages those who have been bullied to channel their frustrations and emotions into creative expressions.  This site features submissions from a wide range of bullying survivors and was started by artists Linda Regula and Paul Richmond, who both endured bullying during their youth.

You Will Rise is all about empowerment, which aligns so perfectly with BornLikeThis’ own messaging. You Will Rise states on its “Inspiration” page that they are dedicated to helping you tell your story through the arts. Submissions can be visual (photography, paintings, drawings etc.), text-based (poetry, lyrics, short stories etc.) or even multimedia youtube videos.

I really fell in love with this project as soon as I found it. The title, You Will Rise is a nod to the phoenix – a mythical bird that rises from the ashes. This bird has long since been used as a symbol of rebirth and speaks to overcoming personal hardships.

Part of the reason You Will Rise resonates with me so much is that I’ve always been a creative person and have experienced firsthand how healing creative expression can be when things during my life are far from ideal. When I was growing up, I dealt with my parents’ divorce by turning to poetry. When I was struggling with complex questions regarding my sexuality and what it meant for me, I turned to drawing and painting as a way to express the feelings I couldn’t articulate.

It doesn’t matter how talented you are as an artist or a writer, don’t be discouraged from creating your own form of art and submitting it to their site. Channeling your emotions into the creative acts can be a truly cathartic experience and keeping these emotions inside is not a healthy thing to do.

You Will Rise is doing wonderful things to help all youth – irrespective of their orientation – to let their voices be heard. You can help them receive a $5k grant by voting for them in the Pepsi Refresh contest.

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