Canadian actress and singer Jasmine Richards, best known for her roles in Camp Rock, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, Disney/Family Channel sitcoms Naturally, Sadie and Overruled!, is launching an anti-bullying campaign with her song and video “You Have The Power.”
Inspired by Jamie Hubley, the Ottawa gay teen who committed suicide last fall after being bullied, Richards is hosting an event on May 7th called May Day Download challenging Canadians from coast to coast to download “You Have The Power” from itunes. The goal is to raise $100,000 in a single day and the proceeds will go to Ottawa Youth Services Mental Health Aid as the Hubley family requested. Jamie’s father, Ottawa city councillor Allan Hubley, has been working hard to get anti-bullying Bills 13 and 14 into the Ontario legislature.
Being Canada’s number one Disney star, acting alongside The Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato, Richards’ acting career started at an early age and with that success came negative attention in the form of bullying throughout both elementary and high school. “I eventually refused to talk about myself, or anything that I was doing,” she says. “Even now at twenty-one, I barely speak about what I am doing unless people ask. It has affected who I am as a person and changed how I do things.”
In elementary school, “I was bullied so badly that my mom finally had enough of seeing me run home and cry all night so she took it upon herself to visit the principle at my school. The reply from the principle was, “maybe she brings it upon herself”,” reflects Richards. “In high school I was attending drama classes and my teacher thought it would be a good idea that I teach the class sometimes or give advice because I had experience in acting professionally. All my classmates hated me for that, people would turn it around and say, ”she thinks she is better than us”.”
The new song and video “You Have The Power” is only a part of the work Richards is doing to raise awareness and help those suffering from bullying. She has created and co founded Jasmine The Anti Bully.com to share her experiences and help direct kids and teens to the right organizations to get the help they need. “If I use my celebrity to help one kid, it’s all worth it,” says Richards.