Anti-Bullying Relentless Tour to Visit Caledonia on February 14

Contact: Todd Heywood - heywoodt@michigan.gov
Agency: Civil Rights

February 8, 2019

Lansing, MI-The Michigan Department of Civil Rights today announced the Relentless Tour - a first-of-its-kind anti-bullying initiative - will visit Caledonia on Thursday, February 14.

Motivational speaker Anthony Ianni, a member of Michigan State University's 2010 and 2012 Big Ten Champion and Tournament Championship teams and the 2010 Final Four team, will speak on Thursday, February 14 to students at Dutton Elementary School, 3820 68th Street SE, at 9:00 a.m.

Ianni was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of 4 and was the victim of bullying as a child. He graduated from Michigan State University and became the first known individual with autism to play Division I college basketball. Under legendary MSU coach Tom Izzo, Ianni played with the 2010 and 2012 Big Ten Champion and Tournament Championship teams, and the 2010 Final Four team. He has won many awards including MSU’s Tim Bograkos Walk-On Award, the 2012 MSU Unsung Player Award, and was named a 2013 Detroit Pistons Community Game Changer Finalist.

Since The Relentless Tour launched on Oct. 17, 2013, Ianni has reached tens of thousands of students, educators and leaders across Michigan and the nation.

Through the Relentless Tour, Ianni and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights seek to raise awareness of autism and the problem of bullying. Students with autism are frequently targeted by bullies, with an estimated 65-90% of individuals with autism having been victims of bullying at some point in their lives.

In addition to MSU Basketball Coach Tom Izzo, the Relentless Tour has generated the support of Detroit Red Wing Niklas Kronwall and former Detroit Lion Nate Burleson, all of whom are working to spread the anti-bullying message.

“Bullying is something we must put an end to, not only in Michigan but across the country,” said Ianni. “Everyone is affected by bullying in some way and students with autism are at incredibly high risk to be victimized. Our hope is that through my story and spreading our message we can not only inspire kids to take a stand against bullying but also make bullies rethink their actions.”

To learn more, or to request a speaking engagement with Ianni, visit http://relentlesstour.com.

 

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