SOURCE: Teen Empowerment Series

October 02, 2013 14:43 ET

2014 Miss America Nina Davuluri Speaks Out Against Bullying at the NY Anti-Bullying Symposium

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - October 02, 2013) - Bullying has taken center stage in the media lately, with the tragic story of a Florida girl who committed suicide over being tormented at school to a young boy's heart-wrenching letter to Santa gone viral, pleading with him to stop kids from bullying his sister.

This October -- National Bullying Prevention Month -- 17-year-old Cali Linstrom embarks on a national high school anti-bullying tour to share her own personal experiences with bullying and discrimination. The 20-city tour kicks off in New York City on October 3 at 11:00am @ Stuyvesant High School.

Linstrom, along with documentary filmmaker Darryl Roberts, organized a national protest against Abercrombie & Fitch for the 2007 discriminatory statements made by the company's CEO Mike Jeffries.  The protest sparked national media coverage and got her a meeting with A&F execs to discuss their relationship with teens. After Cali explained to the A&F executives how Mike Jeffries statements fueled bullying and detailed to them the current bullying climate in high schools, they told her that her anti-bullying message needed to be heard in high schools across America.

After Abercrombie & Fitch assured Cali that their goal was to become a more inclusive company that embraced diversity, Cali told them that she'd be willing to speak at high schools across the country to talk about their shared message of diversity and inclusion. Abercrombie & Fitch agreed to sponsor the 20 city "Are You an Ally...#Be Inclusive" anti-bullying high school tour. "I forgive Mr. Jeffries for the remarks that he made and I'm excited to be aligned with Abercrombie & Fitch's message of inclusion. Tolerance and acceptance fosters diversity and that's the first step to creating a better world," said Cali. 

Filmmaker Roberts, optimistic about the new direction that Abercrombie and Fitch is committed to taking, came on board as the "Are You an Ally...#Be Inclusive," tour producer on Cali's behalf. Darryl will select the high schools where Cali delivers the symposium's message as well as invite celebrity guests to appear with Cali in select cities. The first celebrity that Mr. Roberts invited to join the anti-bullying symposium is the current Miss America Nina Davuluri. "After hearing some of the outrageous cyber bullying remarks spewed towards 2014 Miss America Nina Davuluri, I felt she'd be a great guest to help us kick off the NY symposium," said Roberts. "It was atrocious. People called her Ms. 7-11 and Ms. Al-Queda, solely based on her Indian ancestry. As a nation, we have to become more inclusive than that," Darryl remarked.

Cali Linstrom and 2014 Miss America Nina Davuluri will be in NEW YORK CITY on October 3rd at Stuyvesant High School (345 Chambers Street, NY, NY) at 11am discussing how young people can go from being bullying bystanders to allies in the fight to stop bullying.

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