Peaceful Warriors Summit: Creativity, Basketball, and Compassion Help Students Stop the Cycle of Bullying

Shaun Tai, from Oakland Digital, has some fun with a student who attends San Francisco's Bessie Carmichael Elementary school.
Peaceful Warriors Summit: Creativity, Basketball, and Compassion Help Students Stop the Cycle of Bullying

Adobe recently teamed up with the back-to-back NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and the anti-bullying experts at Soul Shoppe for our latest Peaceful Warriors Summit. The goal? To help the students at San Francisco’s Bessie Carmichael Elementary School learn about the causes and impacts of violence and bullying, and to teach them what they can do to make a difference.

The event brought together more than 80 third- through fifth-graders for an inspiring day on campus. Students talked with Warrior Alfonzo McKinnie; participated in interactive lessons about conflict resolution, compassion, and connection with Soul Shoppe; learned from folks at Oakland Digital, a design studio that’s bridging the digital literacy divide by using Adobe Spark to create Peaceful Warriors social graphics.

Tapping creativity to build a kinder, more supportive community

During the Summit, an Adobe team of 10 volunteers who worked side by side with the Oakland Digital team gave kids hands-on lessons with Adobe Spark — an app that helps people tell visual stories — so they could channel their creativity and tell their own stories about bullying. The students used photos of themselves and their own words, combined with templates designed especially for the event by educator and designer Robzilla.

Students used their Spark projects to voice support for friends, and to talk about times they’d been bullied. As one student wrote, “Bullying can hurt anyone at any time. We should all stand up for each other against bullies.”

“So often, the kids who get bullied are the ones who seem a little bit different. Part of our role in the Peaceful Warriors Summit was to help kids recognize that differences can be a wonderful gift — they’re the source of our creativity and innovation,” says Megan Dale, director, Brand Marketing, Adobe. “We think that giving kids tools to express their creativity and share their stories can help them build understanding and compassion, and remind them to feel proud of the things that make each of them unique. Creativity is a strong foundation for understanding, kindness, and community.”

The Summit was a huge hit with students, teachers, and administrators at Bessie Carmichael. “We are grateful for Adobe and Golden State Warriors for bringing the Summit to Bessie Carmichael School,” says Tina Lagdamen, principal at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School. “The students who participated were treated to a wonderful day of learning about how to stand up to bullies. We are thankful for Adobe and the GSW for helping create wonderful memories for our children.”

Working with the Warriors for peace

We first teamed up with the Warriors seven years ago. Our mission is to help young people understand bullying and violence and teach them ways to build compassion and community instead. Since Adobe and the Warriors share a connection to the Bay Area, we began our Peaceful Warriors Summits at schools in our communities. In addition to last month’s event at Bessie Carmichael, we’ve held Peaceful Warrior Summits at East Oakland Pride Elementary and Starr King Elementary in San Francisco.

We’ve also invited students everywhere to join us by taking our anti-bullying pledge, Not On My Ground, and sharing it with friends and family.

For more on how Adobe is using creativity to help end bullying, check out our partnership with The Bully Project and our work with the Ad Council’s Because of You campaign. The project includes online tools to help young people build their kindness and empathy.

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