iChoose is a transformative anti-bullying initiative consisting of a 20-minute mini-musical performance for teenagers followed by a heart-to-heart dialogue between cast members and audience. The performance portion, which utilizes music, dance, role-playing and personal testimonials, serves as a power vehicle to open the heart of each audience member for the dialogue session to follow.
Students learn about the various forms and causes of bullying and other violence-involved situations, and how to avoid and avert them. Included are lessons about the under-the-radar bullying experience known as “passive violence.” This pernicious form of violence is often expressed through name-calling, teasing, insulting and other types of disrespectful behavior that generates anger in the victim. Students have the opportunity to increase their awareness that they, themselves, can become catalysts for immediate positive change by exercising their power to choose peace instead of violence. Perhaps most important, students will learn about the most common form of harm that is often inflicted — self-violence, the tendency to beat ourselves up or do harmful things to ourselves.
The iChoose project is based on ICAP founder Dr. Daisaku Ikeda’s vision for youth: that each young person has unlimited potential and power. When encouraged, each is capable of remarkable things. It is vital that we maintain an unwavering conviction that one person can and always does make a difference. Each person has a unique and important mission in this life. ICAP has produced iChoose programs in various locations around the globe, including: Hawaii, Southern California, New York, New Jersey in 2010; Oslo, Norway, in 2012; and Auckland, New Zealand, in 2013.