Penn School of Social Policy & Practice Alumni Council Hosts “Bullying Across the Lifespan”

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820March 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — During the symposium “Bullying Across the Lifespan: Targeting the Bully,” the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice’s Alumni Council will address the issue of bullying in the schoolyard, in the office or of the elderly, in observance of National Social Work Month.  The event will be held at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 29, at Houston Hall’s Bodek Lounge and is free and open to everyone who is interested in learning more about bullying from the perspective of the bully.

Attendees will get a better understanding about bullies, victims and what social change agents are doing to intervene to reduce bullying behavior.

“It is highly likely that you, or someone you know or love, has experienced bullying,” said Santo D. Marabella, chair of the Alumni Council.   “However, it is also likely that you have known or observed a bully and been frustrated by a sense of helplessness about how to stop that bully.”

“This symposium doesn’t promise a magic wand to end bullying, but it will contribute to the conversation in this way,” he said.  “It will educate participants about the prevalence of bullying across the lifespan, shed light on the demons of the bully and offer insights on ways to make a difference in the lives impacted so adversely by bullying.”

The symposium includes a question-and-answer session with experts on bullying from each stage of life – from school-aged youth, to adults in the workforce and the dependent elderly.  It will also feature an interactive town hall-like opportunity for engagement and a facilitated discussion about strategies that can help to prevent bullying in the future.

“This is an opportunity for social work professionals to engage with our local community about an issue that’s touched most of us in some significant way,” said Richard J. Gelles, dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice. “Whether you have been a bully, a victim, a victim’s loved one or a bystander, this symposium allows social workers and the public to contribute to the discussion about a topic that many people face.”

The event is free for the general public and members of the Penn community and $25 for those in the helping professions seeking to earn continued education units.

For additional information, contact Marabella at 215-477-5717 or at SP2AlumniCouncil@gmail.com.

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