Creating A Community of Upstanders!

What are Upstanders? Upstanders are people who will intervene when they encounter a bullying episode or an abusive situation or intolerant behavior, as opposed to a bystander, who does nothing but watch the event unfold. According to the American Justice Department "one out of four children is bullied and every seven minutes a child is bullied on the playground. In addition, six out of 10 children are bystanders on a daily basis while in school."

By bringing diverse groups of people together in schools, clubs, religious institutions and the private sector, we hope to be a catalyst for change, encouraging people to take an active role as "upstanders," speaking up when acts of cruelty occur in their presence.

Our message is delivered through song, audience participation and discussion. We believe that through music we can inspire change and create a more respectful, safe and compassionate climate for learning; teaching values, tolerance, and understanding.

“Bullying is an unacceptable act that causes children, teenagers and adults great hurt, emotionally, physically and psychologically. RAF was founded to create awareness and to offer solutions for all involved by using music to unite and inspire, along with educational approaches to provide resources and strategies,” said Arlene Berkman, founder and chairman of the Respect Ability Foundation.

The Foundation is modeled after Operation Respect, a world-renowned organization spearheaded by Peter Yarrow of the legendary folk group, Peter, Paul and Mary. It is a unique organization that provides a gateway to broad scale adoption of school-based character education as well as social and emotional learning (SEL) programs.