Kindness event aims to prevent bullying


To help kick off the upcoming Season for Nonviolence (Jan. 30 through April 4) international campaign, the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund is sponsoring a week-long event focused on preventing bullying among the youths of Champaign County.

Bev and John Titus started the peace fund over a decade ago in honor of their daughter, Alicia Titus (Graham High School graduate), who was killed in the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, when the plane she was a flight attendant on crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Mrs. Titus said 2017 marks the third year the city of Urbana and Urbana University have helped the peace fund sponsor and promote events during the Season for Nonviolence campaign.

As a lead-in to the campaign promoting peace throughout the world, schools across Champaign County have pledged to participate in the “Great Kindness Challenge” Bullying Prevention Program, which started today and runs through Jan. 27. The program is designed to encourage kindness on school campuses nationwide through a checklist featuring 50 examples of acts of kindness.

“We have invited all of the Champaign County schools to participate, and to date, we have approximately 4,500 students joining us,” Mrs. Titus said. “The goal is to do as many ‘acts of kindness’ as you can during the week and then identify some that you can continue throughout the year.”

She added the program is free, and participating schools are being provided with the necessary supplies through “Kids in Peace,” an international program started by a mother in California.

In addition to the “Great Kindness Challenge,” the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund will sponsor a “Non-Violent Communication” workshop for community members and Urbana University students in late March.

This past September, City Council pledged its support of the movement toward a peaceful world by passing a ceremonial resolution designating the city as a recognized City of Peace through the International Cities of Peace Organization.

By Joshua Keeran

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Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

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