Global Impact

International Forums and Worldwide Problems

International conference to showcase Carolina’s legacy of anti-bullying research

Portrait of Dorothy Espelage

International conference to showcase Carolina’s legacy of anti-bullying research

On October 25-27, 2023 — during World Bullying Prevention Month — the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will host the next World Anti-Bullying Forum, a biennial convening of international scholars, practitioners and policymakers focused on understanding and ending bullying among young people.

Dorothy Espelage, William C. Friday Distinguished Professor of Education at the UNC School of Education, will lead a “critical gathering” to help end the worldwide problem.

Espelage is credited with introducing the notion that school-based bullying is best understood as a behavior that emerges over time, is maintained as a group phenomenon and serves as a precursor to other forms of youth violence.

Her research and advocacy continue to create impact in her field and in schools.

“When we started this work in the early ’90s, one state in this country had an anti-bullying law,” Espelage said. “Every state has some form of legislation now.”

When asked about what it means for Carolina to host the World Anti-Bullying Forum, Espelage commented, “What people may not understand is that UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, NC State, and area HBCUs including North Carolina Central University and Fayetteville State University have been engaged in decades of work on bullying, so it’s almost like we’re bringing it home. There’s a huge concentration of bully researchers and practitioners in the Research Triangle so in some ways it really is celebrating our origins and our roots.”

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