Accessible Forums for Social Justice, Curriculum that is Culturally Relevant for the 21st century, Mental Health, Trauma

Free2Luv Organization

Picture source: Free2Luv.png

Why it’s important

This organization serves to put in place different programs to help reduce the amount of bullying that goes on in the educational system. The programs that they offer are meant to inspire the youth and help create better environments for education. They are dedicated to promoting individuality, celebrating equality, and spreading kindness by standing up to bullying by utilizing arts and entertainment. 

History and Purpose

They reached over 25 million people annually through global social media campaigns and have partnered with celebrities to spread awareness and create powerful community outreach events to spread the message that love is stronger than hate and braver than bullying. They have received achievement awards for community outreach, volunteerism, and positive impact on youth. They understand the difficulty that can come with expressing themselves and want to be there whenever someone hits a speedbump. Free2Luv seeks to help students find their own voice and stand out as individuals by showing that they matter.

People they serve

Their Target demographic is under-resourced youth, teens, and young adults by providing mental health support and Educational Services. They are not limited to just the educational system and have reach-out programs that allow you to become a part of their community. Other groups that they look out for are Gay, Lesbian, and bi-sexual individuals that are often severely criticized growing up. Transgender youth are more likely to be harassed and which often leads to self-harm. Free2Luv hopes to help people build self-esteem as well as self-love to help reduce the stress of growing up.

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They offer mental health empowerment programs, EXPRESS IT!, and WE CARE packages that serve to empower under-resourced youth struggling with bullying, identity, or self-harm. Free2Luv believes in having people express themselves in many different ways, as a result, their art and music program has reached more than 35,000 under-resourced youth. They host community get-togethers in schools, community centers, and festivals. They also believe that the expression of one’s story is a way to allow youth to become more comfortable with speaking out. This is aided by hosting peer-to-peer discussions about issues they might be facing with their ADVOCACY AND STORY-SHARING program.

Red flags?

I found that the distribution of funding was difficult to determine from the nonprofit organization’s front. This can be seen as a red flag due to there not being clear goals and spendings associated with donations received. Although they might not have a clear representation of the funds, I believe that the clarity that comes with being able to donate shows that they are streamlining the ability to donate. This is an organization that needs to appeal to the public eye and it has done so wonderfully. I think that discussing the budget and where the money is used in terms of programming would benefit the credibility of the nonprofit organization. Their message is broad and in some circumstances, I believe that a more specific message could be beneficial such as focusing on only particular minority groups. This is opposed to clumping together several under-resourced groups.

Similar work

The Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at the University of Buffalo contributes with Free2Luv by creating presentations that seek to teach other students to not fall into the bystander effect. They want you to find the courage to stand up for those that are facing bullying.

They are paired with Build-A-Bear Foundation Literacy Program which serves to help learning students and less fortunate groups receive the literary skills needed in life.