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UWindsor students Amber Bernachi, Amanda Szabo, Cheyenne Chaplin and Britney GerhardtUWindsor students Amber Bernachi, Amanda Szabo, Cheyenne Chaplin and Britney Gerhardt pose for the “No-Hate” photo shoot during 2012 Anti-bullying week.

Week aims to raise awareness of bullying issues

If you’re being bullied or have been bullied, there is hope, says Josh Paglione.

Director of student life for the University of Windsor Students’ Alliance, he has helped to organize the second annual “Bullying Awareness Week,” which will kick off Wednesday, November 13.

“People in the community are taking notice,” Paglione says. “We want people to know that bullying is serious.”

Actor R.J. Mitte of the television series Breaking Bad will be visiting Windsor to talk about his own personal experience with being bullied because he has cerebral palsy. Mitte considers himself an activist for equality and diversity and will deliver the keynote address at the launch of the region’s anti-bullying series, at the Caboto Club on the evening of Wednesday, November 13.

The event precedes a week of activities running November 17 to 23, including the visual protest “No-Hate Photo Shoots;” an open-mic night for singing, reciting or reading; a “Slam Bullying” poetry reading by Dan McDonald, presentations by Windsor Police on cyber-bullying; and “Wear Pink Day.”

The UWSA is partnering with local organizations to help get the message across, including elementary and high schools, St. Clair College and Windsor Pride.

Bob Williams, executive director of Windsor Pride, says that the campaign against bullying takes more than just one week.

“Bullying doesn’t end at midnight on the 23rd of November,” he says. “I’m a constant believer that it is not the total responsibility of the educators to take care of bullying…there’s a gap that falls back on all of us.”

Doors at Wednesday’s event open at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 general admission, $5 for students. Tickets are now on sale in the UWSA’s office on the second floor of the CAW Student Centre and online at breakingbadbully.eventbrite.com. Read more on the event’s Facebook page.

— Jaylyn Bernachi