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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view omekongo's profile
    Posted October 29, 2013 by
    omekongo
    Location
    Washington, District of Columbia
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Bullying awareness: Your story

    More from omekongo

    People who stepped up saved my life

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Life wasn’t always so good for longtime iReporter Omekongo Dibinga, a motivational speaker and diversity consultant from Washington. He grew up in a poor, rough Boston neighborhood. The son of Congolese immigrants, he says he was the victim of bullying and that he felt like he was always having to fight for a better life.

    He wants to thank the people out who step up and say something when they see bullying taking place. These strangers not only helped him when he was a child, whether it was on the train or in the streets of his neighborhood, but he thinks the solution to ending bullying lies in upstanding people.

    “In the cases of bullying with kids, we have to engage our kids,” he said. “I was suicidal as a kid because of all the issues I was dealing with. I make it a point to tell kids that when I speak. I tell them to look at all of the things I'm doing now. I tell them about my wife, kids, and career. I then tell them none of it would be possible if I ended my life prematurely. They need to know that if I can do it, they can do it better.”
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    My family has dealt with bullying since our arrival in America. My parents dealt with it as immigrant parents. My siblings and I have dealt with it because of our culture, and I've watched my children also deal with it. In every instance, we were able to survive because people, though they were in the minority, stood up for us. If we want to stop bullying, we have to prevent bystander behavior and make it cool and good to stand up for each other.
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