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About Workplace Bullying
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ProtectUSWorkers is a loose-knit bipartisan coalition dedicated to bringing an end to abusive work environments through supportive national legislation. If you are interested in joining the coalition please contact:
Who Are We, What's Our Goal & Why?
For about six years I've been filming and interacting with many of the people involved in the push for legislation. So, the most important question to ask is what do we want to accomplish and why?
The Our Bully Pulpit initiative is non-exclusive and open to anyone who wishes to help make a difference. Many of us who are used to being involved in more loosely knit grassroots movements that reflect a diverse but equal and open partnership of affiliated groups have chosen to work on our own. Personally, I'm not looking for a paternalistic or charismatic leader or to become one. I prefer the idea of collaborations united through social media, the Internet etc toward a common goal. And, so I created and have donated my time, expense and efforts to this initiative to give us all a space to share equally. I hope it's embraced and adopted by others because I think this little niche in the cyber-cloud could best be used to make that happen. Many of us are involved in this effort because we have been traumatized at work and we need to find ways to tell our stories and seek change in our own ways. Feel free to use this WIKI to ask questions, share experiences and help determine the direction of the workplace bullying movement.
Learning From Others:
When I was up in Albany this April filming Maria Morrissey's lobbying for the workplace bullying law we heard a huge commotion in the capitol halls. It was the fracking lobbyists who were so loud that we all came out to see what was happening. Passionate citizen lobbyists were letting their lawmakers know what they wanted; the end of fracking. Their energy represents what is probably one of the most amazing national legislative campaigns happening right now and they took full advantage of the documentary
to get their message out. Documentary filmmakers often join in with people representing a wide variety of disciplines. Each member brings with them a different perspective as leadership changes hands in a natural way in order to foster a "movement" in the true sense of the word. If you've experienced unfair abuse it can be extremely cathartic to meet with and ask your elected officials for help protecting others.
Let's Get This Party Started:
What suggestions did the makers of
have for their huge HBO audience? Viewers were asked to start local and simply have screening parties by tweeting, emailing, and using Facebook Events to bring people together in small groups over coffee, pizza, etc to listen to guest speakers or local people directly impacted by drilling. High profile screenings are a great way to bring together people to help make them aware of your issues. One of my earlier documentaries,
, was about the clash between young racist and anti-racist skinheads. Just prior to its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival
it was screened in Utah's state capitol
for legislators about to vote on a hate crimes bill. The legislators were honored guests at the screening afterwards. Events don't have to be big to be effective. A filmmaker friend of mine, Shelley Rogers, is brilliant at bringing together groups to create panels and screenings and house parties to show pieces of her film and caution the public on the topic of "
WHAT'S ORGANIC ABOUT ORGANIC?
The goal of all of these initiatives is to interest people enough to get their email signatures and have them write and sign letters to send out right away to legislators.
instructs their volunteers to "hand out blank pieces of paper to your guests and encourage them to write letters to their representatives, prepare as many pre-addressed stamped envelopes as you have number of guests. We recommend three per person (one per Congressperson, two per Senator). See page four for more awesome action ideas." Q&A's have prepared questions for discussion starters.
A few years ago I screened 2 of my early workplace bullying films for the UUP union in Long Island, NY. They're both short and I knew that each would generate a different type of discussion. The same was true up in Connecticut when I screened with Kathy Hermes. Even with feature films it's useful to use 10 to 20 minute clips to get people ready to talk and discuss and get excited about making a change. The real energy should happen when people in the audience are talking -- not when the experts are. No one's talking? Then ask them questions:
How would you react if you saw someone being abused at work?
How do you know when it's actually bullying?
What types of things should people do if they're being bullied? What should they do if they're witnessing it?
Do you think a law would help? Why/ why not? What would you like to see in a bill?
What other suggestions do you have?
Each segment of
OUR BULLY PULPIT: What REALLY Killed Kevin Morrissey?
raises challenging questions about the personal dramas playing out in the workplace and the nuanced areas of our office relationships that bullying legislation will dramatically impact when/if passed.
Actions that have been taken to date:
Mailing DVD to local legislators
Town Hall Meeting
Sharing with fellow employees who are being bullied
Sharing with family members, friends, and co-workers to show the impact of workplace bullying and validate the experience
Donating to local library
In the following states:
New YorkNew Jersey
and even outside the U.S. to Australia
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