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A City of Vancouver project aimed at providing young people with leadership skills to combat bullying and discrimination
Last Updated: Oct 30, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Reflections on Being Different & Being Bulllied

Meshell Ndegeocello, poet, musician, and funky bass player

“… when I look back, it is still a little painful. When I think about being a teenager, I don’t usually feel nostalgic. But I don’t have to feel bad about how I made someone else feel ashamed or unwanted. Despite how painful it was to earn it, I cherish the wisdom I have about accepting myself and other people, all kinds of people, for who they are. When I make a friend now, I make sure they know that I don’t care if they are weird, or popular, or straight, or pretty, or black, or like me, or different. I just want them to know that I like them, that I am their friend, and I mean it.”

-  Meshell Ndegeocello in It Gets Better



CoV teenager

These resources have been selected as part of the Library's contribution to citizenU – a project to combat racism and bullying and eliminate discrimination based on:

  • Ability
  • Age
  • Citizenship
  • Culture
  • Ethnicity
  • Faith
  • Gender
  • Health
  • Language
  • Race
  • Sexual orientation
  • Socioeconomic circumstances
  • Social groupings

citizenU also strives to build stronger, more positive relationships among Vancouver's diverse communities.

citizenU is a joint program of the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver School Board, the Vancouver Park Board, the Vancouver Public Library, and other government agencies and community organizations.




Books to Get You Started

Cover Art
Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher and Kid Needs to Know about Ending the Cycle of Fear - Goldman, Carrie
Call Number: 371.58 G61b
ISBN: 9780062105073
Publication Date: 2012
Addresses prevention, intervention and reconciliation, helping others to recognize the warning signs of emotional distress and offering techniques for dealing with bullies (who also need help).

Cover Art
Cultural Diversity - Conflicts and Challenges: the Ultimate Teen Guide - Gay, Kathlyn
Call Number: YA305.8 G28c
ISBN: 0810848058
Publication Date: 2003
"The writing is fresh, interesting, and straight to the point … easy-to-read and comprehensive text urges all readers, whether young, old, or reluctant, to become informed about cultural groups in an effort to reduce the racial strife and intolerance that exists in society." (Voya)

Cover Art
It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating A Life Worth Living - Savage, Dan; Miller, Terry (editors)
Call Number: 306.766 I88s
ISBN: 9780525952336
Publication Date: 2011
In response to a number of tragic suicides by LGBTQ students, Dan Savage uploaded a video to YouTube with his partner, Terry Miller. Their video launched the "It Gets Better Project" YouTube channel and initiated a worldwide phenomenon. This companion book is a collection of original essays and testimonials written to teens from celebrities.

Cover Art
It's Your World - If You Don't Like It, Change It: Activism for Teenagers - Halpin, Mikki
Call Number: YA378.1981 H19i
ISBN: 0689874480
Publication Date: 2004
Plenty of practical details for teens who want to become activists. The issues presented encompass everything from civil liberties, racism, women's rights, to gay rights. In compelling sidebars, teens speak out about their activism and, sometimes, about the harassment they experienced because of it.

Cover Art
The Courage to Be Yourself: True Stories by Teens about Cliques, Conflicts, and Overcoming Peer Pressure - Desetta, Al (editor)
Call Number: YA305.235 C85c
ISBN: 9781575421858
Publication Date: 2005
In 26 first-person stories, teens write about their lives and peer pressure with searing honesty. Their essays will inspire young readers to reflect on their own lives, work through their problems, and give them the courage to be themselves.


5-Star DVDs

"Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes."

Cover Art
Crash - Haggis, Paul (director)
Call Number: 791.4372 C891h2
ISBN: 0031398179382
Publication Date: 2006
Still one of the best film explorations of race and the effects of hatred. Set in Los Angeles during a 48-hour period, Crash features an extraordinary screenplay, great cast, and superb direction by Canadian Paul Haggis. Winner of three Oscars: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing.

Cover Art
She's A Boy I Knew - Haworth, Gwen (director)
Call Number: 306.768 H39s
Publication Date: 2007
An extremely moving and heartfelt autoethnographic film from Vancouverite Gwen Haworth that documents her transition from male to female. Includes interviews with all the members of her extended family, reflections on undergoing her operation, plus some amazing animation, lots of laughter and a few tears. A must-see film.

Cover Art
The Stonewall Uprising - PBS: Davis, Kate & Heilbroner, David (directors)
Call Number: 306.766 C32sa
ISBN: 9781608834006
Publication Date: 2011
A superb documentary that tells the story of how years of oppression led to the Stonewall uprising in 1969. As one commentator points out, the Stonewall riots marked the first time during the turbulent '60s that protestors forced the police to retreat. This overt display of '60s people power changed the gay community forever. A must-see film in order to understand the roots of homophobia and how social change is made.


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Compiled by Michael McCarthy


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