Trailblazing Kids: Q&A With Kid Activist Cavanaugh Bell
We're so excited to introduce Trailblazing Kids, a new series highlighting young Trailblazers in the making. Today we're talking to Cavanaugh Bell, a 8 year old anti-bullying activist and founder of non-profit Cool & Dope whose mission is to put an end to bullying by 2030.
Cavanaugh spreads positivity wherever he goes and has helped make a difference in so many lives already, whether it's from running community pantries, delivering groceries to the elderly, or organizing donations of COVID supplies to those in need.
Read on to hear his sage advice on staying positive, what it means to be an anti-bullying activist, and who his favorite Piccolina Trailblazer is!
Know a young Trailblazer you think we should spotlight? Sound off in the comments!
How did you first get involved in anti-bullying activism
I was bullied in Kindergarten and it created a darkness inside of me that made me feel really bad. I thought the bullying was my fault and I was so afraid to tell anyone. But, then one day, I told my mom what was happening and I asked her if I could do something to stop other kids from feeling how I felt. My very first campaign was to go to speak to the Mayor of my city and I asked them to dedicate February 21st as Bullying Awareness Day so we could pause and reflect on how we treat each other.
What is Cool & Dope?
Cool & Dope is a kid-led nonprofit organization that's all about spreading positivity and showing the world that kids can have an impact – no matter their age! We don't just focus on bullying because we believe that when kids feel like their voice matters and feel like leaders, then they are able to speak up and speak out to stop bullying. It's our mission to end all bullying worldwide by 2030.
How can families get involved?
Families can follow us on social media and they can join our email list at www.coolanddope.com — for ideas of how they can give back to their communities.
What advice do you have for staying positive?
I always tell myself that "Today is going to be a good day" and this helps me to feel calm and know that I am powerful. Me and my mom also always say "whatever you believe, you can achieve" and we don't tell ourselves that we can't do something. The more you can help other people, the more you'll feel good too and that's helpful to stay positive.
What does it mean to be Anti-Bullying?
For me that means speaking up and speaking out when you see someone being treated unfairly. It also means being a leader in your community and helping others to feel powerful too.
How can kids show up for those who might be getting bullied?
It all starts with just saying "stop" when you see something happening that's not right. Whether you tell a teacher, another friend, or your parents, it's important to get help for the person who is being bullied. We all have a part to play to stop bullying everywhere.
Who is your favorite Piccolina Trailblazer? Why?
I would say Harriet Tubman because she's from Maryland like me and she was SO brave to help so many people get to freedom.