Upstander Carnival Teaches Anti-bullying Tools
by Wendy Weitzel
Upstander Carnival, a free event for elementary-age children, will return to Davis’ Central Park on Saturday, Oct. 21. As part of National Bullying Prevention Month, the annual fair teaches youngsters to identify and stand up to bullying.
The Davis Phoenix Coalition launched the carnival in 2015. This year, it’s from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the sycamore grove of Davis’ Central Park, Fourth and C streets. The popular event draws hundreds every year.
Participants go through six stations of brief, interactive lessons, where they practice inclusion, deal with cyberbullying and learn helpful skills. After getting a stamp at each station, students get to enter the fun zone, where they may play in a bounce house, get snacks like popcorn or cotton candy, play games, and get their face painted.
Davis Phoenix Coalition founder Gloria Partida, who serves on the Davis City Council, said she hopes the event sparks conversations among students and parents, and leads to more bystanders becoming upstanders.
“The main focus is to give kids and families resources for what to do if they experience or witness bullying,” Partida said. Children leave with four concrete responses that work in various situations.
These are valuable lessons that prevent and address bullying. With these tools available, youths can help diffuse situations in a respectful way, thwarting violence then and eliminating troubles in the future. These skills stick with pupils as they move on to junior high and high school.
Partida said, “Oftentimes, kids in bullying situations have problems later with the law, and with domestic violence. Providing them some support when they are young is one of the ways to prevent negative outcomes in adulthood”
The event runs concurrently with the Davis Farmers Market, which is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in Central Park. It’s a great chance for families to participate in both events. Partida advised saving at least an hour for the carnival.
Parents or guardians must sign a waiver for their child to participate. Partida encourages parents to walk the stations with their kids. Mom or Dad can learn too, and can chat with volunteers about local resources.
The Upstander Carnival is coordinated by an all-volunteer community formed by the Davis Phoenix Coalition, a nonprofit that works to foster diversity, eliminate intolerance, prevent hate-motivated violence, and support LGBTQ+ youths in Davis and surrounding communities. The coalition was founded in the aftermath of a 2013 anti-gay attack on Davis resident “Mikey” Partida. Proceeds from events support the coalition’s anti-racism and anti-bullying campaigns, support to LGBTQ+ youths and their families, and outreach with area police departments, churches and schools. To donate, go to https://davisphoenixco.org/donate.
For more information about the event or becoming a sponsor, visit
https://davisphoenixco.org. Volunteers may sign up by clicking here.
To learn details as they unfold, follow the Davis Phoenix Coalition on Facebook and Instagram.