The coronavirus pandemic can’t stop something as important as Red Ribbon Week. This is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation, reaching millions of young people during the nine-day celebration, held from October 23-31 each year.
Informed Families Blog
The coronavirus pandemic has curtailed many activities, but Red Ribbon Week is taking place regardless. The Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council will be hosting virtual Red Ribbon rallies on YouTube and Facebook, and this month Informed Families announced its Red Ribbon Mask Challenge to encourage everyone to wear a Red Ribbon-Themed face mask this week.
Students, families and schools across America are invited to participate in the 10th Annual National Red Ribbon Week Photo Contest aimed at calling attention to the benefits of staying drug free with photography. The contest, co-sponsored by the National Family Partnership (NFP) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will be held in conjunction with National Red Ribbon Week, which takes place each year from October 23 through 31. The contest will award more than $20,000 to K-12 schools in cities across America.
The photo contest involves participants decorating the fronts of their homes (front door, mailbox or fence), or virtual school/school campuses with double-looped red ribbons while incorporating this year's Red Ribbon theme, Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.™ Participants enter the contest by taking a photo of their decorations and by uploading the image to the RedRibbon.org website.
Help Us Lead the Red Ribbon Week Herd
Red Ribbon Week helps to create Herd Immunity. Red Ribbon is about creating herd or community immunity to the alcohol and drug problems America is facing.
Herd or Community Immunity is where a large part of the population are immune to a specific disease.
While currently the public is hearing about and focusing on Covid-19, Herd immunity applies equally to alcohol and drug use.
In all populations across the world about 10 % of people have a predisposition to alcohol and drug addiction. PREDISPOSITION DOES NOT MEAN PREDETERMINED!!! There are PROTECTIVE FACTORS that mediate the disease - the biggest are the communities’ beliefs, their messaging and role modeling about alcohol and drugs use and misuse.
“I really would like the theme to inspire others for use as their mantra. Bravery is not just for superheroes."
Meet Tricia Nelson, the everyday hero behind the 2020 Red Ribbon theme: “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.”
The Red Ribbon Campaign unveiled its new 2020 Red Ribbon Theme, “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free. ™” today. The theme will be highlighted during Red Ribbon Week®, the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program, taking place each year from October 23 through 31st.
Submitted by Tricia Nelson, a first year Physical Education Teacher at Locust Corner Elementary School in Cincinnati, the theme will help amplify the campaign’s mission to encourage children, families and communities to live healthy, safe and drug-free lives.
People Participate in What They Help to Plan
The 2020 Red Ribbon theme is “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.” So many of our youth are fascinated by superhero culture from Superman and Wonder Woman to Captain Marvel and Spiderman. It’s only fitting that this year we encourage them to be “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.” To be an everyday hero.
People sometimes ask why the Red Ribbon theme changes each year. Understanding the history of Red Ribbon is key to understanding this important feature of the campaign. Red Ribbon has always been a grassroots movement. After DEA agent Kiki Camarena was murdered in 1985, communities across America began displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs. People united and took a visible stand against drugs.
We change the theme each year to give the individuals that help spread the Red Ribbon message an opportunity to shape the campaign in a way that is relevant to our communities. Our mission to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a drug free America remains the same, but we must deliver it in a way that resonates with the youth and culture of 2020 if we want to be heard.
I love to see students “Sock it to Drugs” in wacky socks or wear sunglasses because their future is too bright for drugs during Red Ribbon Week. I encourage you to incorporate the official 2020 Red Ribbon theme “Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free.” into your spirit week activities as well. Together we can honor the history of Red Ribbon and present a unified message in support of keeping kids safe, healthy and drug free.
The National Family Partnership announced the winners of the 2019 National Red Ribbon Photo Contest on December 2. Several Florida residents and schools were included among this year’s winners.
Natalia Solares from Hialeah, FL won a Judges Award in the Home category for Best Use of the Theme. Ms. Solares’ $1000 prize money will go to Youth Co-Op Preparatory Charter School.
The U.S. Postal Service revealed the new "Drug Free USA
Forever” stamp yesterday in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program taking place each year from October 23 through 31.
Earlier this year, the National Family Partnership and Drug Enforcement Administration submitted a joint letter to the U.S.Postal Service’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, to propose a stamp to raise national awareness about the dangers of drug misuse.
“We are delighted that the U.S. Postal Service is committed to supporting our efforts to promote drug prevention, education and awareness,” said Peggy B. Sapp, President and CEO of Informed Families and the National Family Partnership. “We all must continue to play our unique roles in spreading the word to communities about how individuals can make healthy choices.”
The Drug Free USA Forever stamp features a white star with lines of red, light blue, and blue radiating from one side of each of the star’s five points, suggesting the unity necessary at all levels to effectively address drug use. The stamp will go on sale in October 2020.
Building Healthy People & Healthy Communities
Informed Families hosted a celebratory rally and lunch to wrap up 2019 Red Ribbon Week. The event celebrated all those who value prevention as a way to stop destructive behaviors.
I am delighted to announce that Informed Families has been awarded a three-year grant from the Florida Blue Foundation to strengthen schools and communities. To kick off that effort we invited filmmaker Erahm Christopher to speak at the rally. I first saw Mr. Christopher’s movie, “Listen”, at a Florida School Boards Association meeting and believe it offers a way to address many issues in a holistic manner eliminating the “Cause De Jour” mindset that plagues the media, and thus societal perceptions.
Many destructive behaviors have the same root causes. This is a first step toward educating the public about these behaviors, while reducing the stigmas that keep people from speaking up and asking for help.
“Listen” highlights the need for parents, teachers, everyone to really learn to listen to youth. Informed Families will host a screening of the film and a post-film workshop led by Mr. Christopher in February 2020. He has successfully executed these screenings and workshops in other cities across the nation.
While the media focuses on opioid use, school shootings and tragedies, Informed Families focuses on how to prevent opioid use, school shootings and promote good mental health. More and more people are turning off the news because they are tired of wringing their hands, feeling impotent and lamenting one tragedy after another.
I invite all of our Informed Families friends, supporters and Ambassadors to join us in being part of the solution in promoting good mental health. Stop whining about the problems, come and learn how to get involved and be part of the solution; it is healthy for you! Email us if you would like to get involved.