Life On The Outside
Creating Anti-Bullying Comic Books and Founding a Non-Profit
Founder/ Executive Director Abbey Sager pitching their comic-book idea to a group of change-makers in Chicago, IL.
Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Website or social media url(s) (optional):
November 11th, 2016.
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)
1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."
I am stepping up to make change because I believe in the power of young people to change the world. My name is Abbey Perl and I am the Founder/ Executive Director of Diverse Gaming Coalition, a 501(C)(3) fighting for a change in online and real-life communities through modern concepts and pop culture. One way we achieve this goal is through our anti-bullying comic book "Life On The Outside". Life on the Outside follows non-binary person of color Asher Phoenix and their journey throughout high school. We decided to use this story after a member in our community identified the same way the main character in the story does. We use this comic as an educational tool all across the country, diversifying the discussion around bullying.
2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
Bullying and harassment within minorities, specifically with non-binary and people of color are not being represented as well as they could be. Not only that, adults were not presenting this information while attracting young people to join their message. Boring assemblies, workshops, and presentations presented without the thought of their audience. Young people are not engaged by something that doesn't interest them or they can't relate to.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
To solve this problem, we decided we wanted to tackle this issue and bring matters into our own hands- into the hands of young people. So, we created "Life on the Outside", a project of non-profit Diverse Gaming Coalition. This is a story about high schooler Asher Phoenix struggling with bullying, mental health, friendships, and their identity. Along the way, they meet new people, conquers new emotions, and learn more about themselves.
4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
When people get involved in our project, we use their personal experiences, stories, ideas, and overall energy and put it into our work to create the most relatable and meaningful impact. For instance, Life On The Outside was originally an entirely different story at first. Originally, it was a kids story about a lonely zombie in a radioactive wasteland. When we asked for community input in creating our story, a young person came up to us and expressed that they were non-binary and a person of color, and was being bullied in our own community. Because of this, we decided to take their experiences and reshape our comic to fit their personal narrative.
5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
Our project is the most unique anti-bullying initiative on the market. No other program not only combines modern day pop-culture into our social justice work, but also utilizes young people in creating, promoting, and implementing our project. Current anti-bullying initiatives either use adults that can't relate to the cause or use boring methods to discuss bullying. However, our project was created to tackle this issue.
6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
So far, we've engaged with over 500 students and counting for our assembly program. Likewise, we have been to over four cities for conventions, workshops, etc. to promote our work, organization, and comic book.
7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
To take our project to the next level, we plan to create more comic books in the series to continue to touch on various issues within the bullying sector. We also hope to implement more youth into our program, including our educational aspects.
8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?
For future support, money is always extremely helpful. We vision every kid we talk with to have a comic book that is theirs to keep. We also need more support from community members willing to volunteer to make this project extraordinary.
9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
Donations less than $100
Donations between $100-$1k
Donations between $1k-$5k
10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.
We would love to partner with other change makers by collaborating on certain projects. For instance, our topic is bullying. However, we love discussing how bullying can affect the LGBTQ+ community.
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
Religious minority (non-Christian)
How did you hear about this challenge?
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?