Monica Lewinsky: 'I Want to Help Other Victims of the Shame Game Survive and Thrive'
One week after it was revealed that Caitlyn Jenner was inspired by Monica Lewinsky’s anti-bullying TED Talk Lewinsky, 41, has announced she is joining Bystander Revolution as a strategic advisor in their fight against bullying.
“Often being publicly ridiculed or witnessing someone else being ridiculed can push us into silence,” Lewinsky, 41, tells PEOPLE exclusively of her new role. “Many of us find ourselves as targets or bystanders in the online world of cyber bullying and digital harassment and we freeze.
“By stepping into compassion for both ourselves and others, we can begin to shift the culture. I’m passionate about joining forces with Bystander Revolution because their mission is to help people see all the ways they can be empowered to take that small, but impactful, step.”
Bystander Revolution, is an anti-bullying organization founded by MacKenzie Bezos, the wife of Jeff Bezos, to inspire people to combat bullying with acts of “kindness, courage and inclusion.” After Bezos saw Lewinsky’s Forbes and TED speeches, they were introduced by a mutual friend and she met with their teams in Seattle and Brooklyn.
Their website, launched in April 2014, provides a platform for people to share stories and inspiration, including peer-to-peer advice, videos by students, celebrities and various leaders talking about bullying.
“The hope is that if enough people know what to do when they see bullying, and feel empowered to do it, bullying will become the exception rather then the norm,” reads their mission statement.
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It’s been a long road for Lewinsky, who’s chosen her projects carefully since breaking her silence last year. As an ambassador, she will be involved with Bystander Revolution’s social media initiatives, and will advise the organization on a wide a range of projects.
“My experience of being cyber bullied and shamed for nearly two decades has given me a unique perspective,” says Lewinsky in a statement. “Having come out on the other side, I want to help other victims of the shame game survive and thrive.”
Lewinsky’s announcement comes after her surprising connection to Caitlyn Jenner was made public last week. Her TED talk “had struck a chord with Caitlyn because of the similarities with how she had been dealt with on the Internet” Vanity Fair journalist Buzz Bissinger writes in this month’s cover story. Afterwards, Lewinsky Tweeted her support for the Olympian. “Insisting on a different ending to her story is EXACTLY what @CaitlynJenner is doing,” she wrote. “She is helping so many. BRAVA!”
“Bullying and cyber bullying cause so much suffering and everyone would like to see the culture change,” adds Bezos, the founder and Executive Director of Bystander Revolution. “Monica is an inspiring and passionate advocate for a shift toward a culture of compassionate action. We are thrilled to have her join us in our efforts.”