BKO Celebrity Activism Series: Clayne Crawford inspires us to #BeTheChange

Written by Stephanie Lapointe

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

The truth is that many of us are born into privilege in some way – whether it be geography, race, gender –  and we need to understand what that means not only for our own lives but how it impacts others in ways we may not even realize. Poverty, injustice and inequality won’t end unless those who have privilege begin to understand the power they have by challenging the systems in place, changing their own lives and setting an example for others to follow.

Bullies Keep Out advocate and partner Clayne Crawford, best known for playing Martin Riggs on the first couple of seasons of Lethal Weapon, is the type of activist who understands his privilege, the power of his celebrity, and has worked hard to learn how he can leverage both to make an impact locally by investing in people and organizations helping the disadvantaged. 

Clayne established the Clayne Crawford Foundation (CCF) to support, via fundraising and awareness, local efforts that improve the livelihoods of disadvantaged women, children and veterans in the United States. What I really admire about CCF’s vision is that it’s in place to help local organizations that are working hard to bring change to their communities in meaningful ways rather than competing with it. Below are only a few of amazing organizations that CCF has supported in its vision to empower disadvantaged children, women and veterans:

  • Three Hots and a Cot: In May 2016, CCF held an event called Pig Out Picnic to support this organization created by veterans in Alabama. Three Hots and a Cot supports the needs of veterans who are homeless or struggling to overcome any tragic roadblocks by becoming a source of healing while helping them transition to a self-sustained lifestyle.
  • The Music Room of Leeds: This is another organization CCF fundraised for during its Pig Out Picnic event in May 2016. The Music Room Foundation is dedicated to serving and improving the lives of children and adults with disabilities through music and music-based therapy programs. The mission of this foundation is to improve the independence and quality of life of the special needs community
  • Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church: CCF’s December 2017 Keystone Event in Odenville, Alabama benefited the church’s Backpack Feeding program which provides backpacks of food for low-income students in the community. The donations that came in from all over the world doubled the church’s annual budget for this program.
  • Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF): CCF has run a couple of campaigns to support this foundation created by Tyler Robinson’s family and Imagine Dragons to strengthen families emotionally and financially who are coping with pediatric cancer diagnoses. The organization was inspired by Tyler Robinson’s own tragic diagnosis and continues to live on in his spirit to help other kids and families find positivity and hope during a dark period. CCF ran a charity t-shirt campaign (“Don’t Trash the Stache”), selling over 1000 shirts and, just recently, ran a Heart of Gold donation drive in September to encourage fans and their communities to donate in support TRF’s inspiring work. They raised over $20,000 and hundreds joined the fight against childhood cancer. 

And currently, the Clayne Crawford Foundation has become a partner with us at Bullies Keep Out and during the month of October partnered for Bullying Awareness Month to generate discussion and raise money for programs that strive to end bullying in our communities and fight for a kinder future. The challenge, however, is we have been talking about bullying for years and implementing programs and change in schools and communities to stop this behaviour; however, it seems to be growing and shifting, especially with the rise of digital technology. Clayne has been working with us to lead a social media discussion about #parentOUTbullying to ask the hard questions, encourage people to share stories, and provide tips to help break the cycle and change the course of bullying behaviour starting at home. By educating parents and children about the effects of bullying behavior, we can spread awareness of these negative narratives and begin to enact change for positive outcomes.

This discussion will remain ongoing, and we’d love to hear from you! Share your experiences and thoughts on bullying and the role of parents and children with the hashtag #parentOUTbullying on Twitter to help us break this cycle. 

We’re very lucky to have Clayne and his foundation as partners of Bullies Keep Out. The way he uses his platform to inspire change from the local level and through the actions of people who are making a meaningful impact has inspired so many of us to get involved and to also #BeTheChange in our own communities. 

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