Everyday Heroes encourages people to stop being bystanders in situations that involve bullying, discrimination, sexual assault or abuse, or drug and alcohol abuse. In addition to encouraging people to step up and do something, it also gives people information on what to do.
Candice Brooks, junior elementary education major and co-campaign manager for the Emporia branch of Everyday Heroes, said people will say that they want things to change but want to know what they can actually do.
“For me, it’s just awareness and action on top of the awareness,” said Timothy Thomas, senior crime and delinquency studies major and president of Sigma Alpha Lambda, the RSO that sponsors Everyday Heroes. “I would like for our culture, and when I say culture, I’m not talking race, I’m talking the younger generation, to understand the importance of loving your neighbor, loving your enemy. That’s basically what it stems from.”
Everyday Heroes asks people to, first, realize that there are things happening everyday around them that qualify as bullying, discrimination or abuse. According to their fliers posted around campus, sometimes people are simply unaware of what all is happening.
The second step is to transcend the barrier that automatically comes in the form of thoughts saying, “It’s not my problem,” or “No one else is doing anything, so why should I?” This requires identifying the thought and choosing to do something regardless.
The third step is to take some kind of action, whether calling 9-1-1 if needed, having a conversation, changing the subject or in some cases, direct confrontation.
Kelly Roberts, senior secondary speech, theater and English education major, said that she thought Everyday Heroes is a wonderful idea.
“I always wanted to take a stand and try to support people because there are some kinds of bullying that can be a little more subtle than others,” Roberts said. “It’s important to know all the facts and to look out for the different, more subtle kinds, because this can be just as influential as more overt kinds of bullying.”
Thomas said he feels this nationwide movement is needed to make people more aware of what goes on around them every day.
Brooks encourages students to learn what can be done in situations to help others and actually make a difference. She and Josh Wallace, sophomore public relations major and co-campaign manager, said that it does not have to be a big action. Wallace said it could be something as simple as just opening the door for somebody who’s having a bad day.
“People are looking for ‘Am I qualified?’ The fact that you think that you want something to change, right then, right there, you’re an Everyday Hero,” Brooks said. “But that you have the aspirations to want to be different, to want to help others, just the thought in your mind right there qualifies you to be an Everyday Hero.”
Everyday Heroes will have a table set up in the Memorial Union tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.