Award-Winning Filmmaker Aims to Make Bullying Socially Unacceptable

Working to make bullying socially unacceptable in schools and society, Adam Mazo, former Palm Beach County resident, is bringing his award-winning film Coexist straight from a Florida film festival to Palm Beach County high schools for the first time. The aim is to engage with students to discuss how “othering”, scapegoating and bullying can lead to serious violence and mass atrocities.

When? Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Where? Palm Beach Lakes Community High School from 7:30 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. (By invitation only)

FAU High School from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Open to the public)

Coexist explores the painful and personal stories of Rwandan genocide survivors as they are made to try to reconcile with perpetrators being released back into their communities from prison. Viewers say that Coexist masterfully captures the nuance and complexity of the process of dehumanization and re-humanization that takes place during genocide and in its aftermath.

Mazo and his colleague, Coexist Learning Director Dr. Mishy Lesser, work in schools and youth groups using the movie and companion Viewer’s Guide to challenge students to reflect deeply on their core beliefs. The Coexist team engages students in activities and dialogue about pressing issues like peer-pressure, name-calling and bullying, which directly impact the ability of youth to succeed and thrive.

Coexist is coming to Palm Beach County as a program of Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education. Staff from the Center and from Palm Beach County Schools will facilitate discussions with approximately 100 Palm Beach Lakes High School students, using a restorative approach known as “peacemaking circles.”

“Since its premiere, we have witnessed how Coexist is a powerful tool to foster understanding about how violence escalates, how it can be interrupted, and the potential in each of us to be victim, perpetrator, bystander, and up stander,” said filmmaker Adam Mazo.

“Teachers, students and community members are encouraged to attend this event so that we can begin a dialogue about violence prevention, and learn to coexist in peace with each other despite our differences,” says Dr. Rose Gatens, Director of the Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education.

*Clips of the film and photos are available at www.coexistdocumentary.org /press-kit

For more information contact Maureen Marullo at (561) 434-8933 or via e-mail at Maureen.marullo@palmbeachschools.org.

 

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Public Affairs Contact: Natalia Arenas – (561) 357-7662 – natalia.arenas@palmbeachschools.org