After spending 10 years in corporate America in the pharmaceutical industry, Kimberly Ewing of KDE Motivates discovered the passion of helping individuals and giving back to her community through bullying prevention, diversity seminars and motivational speaking. Today, she is a certified Olweus Bullying Prevention Trainer and Consultant. She speaks at private and public schools across the country, including those in Indianapolis, about the importance of anti-bullying.
The Recorder got a chance to sit down with Ewing to chat about why bullying prevention is important and the state of young people today.
When did you first discover the Olweus Bullying Prevention program?
A few years ago, I decided I wanted to be apart of a program that was approved through the Department of Education and the Olweus Bullying Prevention program is the elite of the elite. I’m that kind of person that if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right. I went to California and got certified.
Young people are facing a number of issues today, why did you decide to focus on bullying prevention? Do you have a personal experience?
When I was in grade school, I had an incident happen when I transferred schools in the 6th grade, which was the first time I got introduced to it personally. I had it indirectly affect me when a girlfriend of mine was bullied and I would stand up for her. I was a defender as a little kid and it was unacceptable. I didn’t get a chance to tell my mother like I should’ve and that’s one thing I encourage for kids to do. I wasn’t damaged from it like many kids, but it’s just a part of my memory.
You are the great-great granddaughter of Prince Albert Ewing, the first African-American to practice law in Tennessee. Explain in more detail.
Yes, they were born into slavery and are in the history books. I always thought my grandfather was telling me old stories but once I got older and began researching I went back to him and said, “Oh my God, you were telling the truth!” I am very proud of that. Later I discovered relatives that were involved in higher education and activism.
How does your family’s history impact your performance today?
I never really understood why I was so passionate and motivated about being a leader and a motivational speaker but then I found out I wasn’t the only one doing that. There was another Ewing that gave a commencement speech at a university. My mouth just dropped when I read it. It is a shame if we aren’t using our God given gifts to share with the world.
What type of things do you feel as the youth are missing in today’s society?
They are missing direct communication because they have a lot of indirect communication. The social networking is awesome but it can also hinder them from their growth and truly connecting. I encourage them to put their cell phones aside and actually talk to the people surrounding them. As adults we need to make sure we are insisting on that and connecting.