If you hadn’t heard about the Kind Campaign before Monday night’s Emmy Awards, chances are you’re familiar with the name now. While accepting his Emmy for best supporting actor in a drama series, Aaron Paul sweetly thanked his wife, Lauren. “Thank you for marrying me,” Paul said. “Thank you for dedicating your life to spread kindness across the world. We all appreciate it. If you guys don’t know what she does look up Kind Campaign. Do yourself and your children a favor—Kind Campaign. Thanks so much.”
Within moments, the website for the Kind Campaign, a non-profit dedicated to end female bullying, crashed. We got the inside scoop on the campaign, the speech, and everything Kind from the campaign’s co-founders, Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson.
Tell me about what happened at the Emmys.
Lauren: That moment, obviously, talking about so many amazing memories that [Aaron] had on the show and everything, but at the end there mentioning Kind Campaign, it’s just such a special thing for us and he thought to do that. To use that platform, it’s great. Going in to the new school year, we have hundreds of schools reaching out to see what our programs are all about and it’s really, really exciting for us.
Did you know he was going to do that?
Lauren: No I didn’t. He didn’t have anything prepared actually so everything he said was off the cuff and from the heart, which is just kind of how he rolls.
Did you ever expect that kind of reaction?
Molly: After he spoke the words “Kind Campaign” everyone kind of listened to what he said, and they went to check it out. The website crashed, I think, within seconds after that and it was down until about 6 o’clock the next morning. And that was with our web team kind of working through the night to get it back up and running because people can learn all about the Kind Campaign.
How did the idea for the Kind Campaign come about?
Lauren: It was really spurred out of personal experiences. Molly and I both went through some stuff in middle school and high school as we all do, and so basically the Kind Campaign was really spurred out of our documentary Finding Kind. So we started shooting Finding Kind back in 2009 and it was really once we started seeing girls and women being so vulnerable on camera and just open up about their experiences, that was really when we became inspired to do more and start Kind Campaign, a non profit, with this idea of school assembly programs and curriculum. And when we started this again back in 2009 it really wasn’t a conversation rather it was kind of just swept under the rug. And when bullying became a hot topic in the media and in schools we were really the only organization that was already out there, established, having already been in hundreds of schools. So it was kind of word of mouth and it just kind of snowballed over the last six years.
What’s next for you?
Lauren: We’re all about to go on our sixth national anti-bullying tour, which will be this October for the whole month. We’ll be speaking in about 30 schools free of charge because of the big fundraiser that we did at the end of last year. All of our programming this year has been free of charge and will continue to be free of charge into the next year which is so great. And then we have a new curriculum coming out in October called the Kind Kit and we’re really excited about that. Basically it’s taking all things Kind Campaign and wrapping it up in a bow and creating this kit for schools. Once they adopt the Kind Kit they’ll be able to host assemblies year after year, so it’ll allow Kind Campaign to grow in such a great way so information about the Kind kit and our assemblies is at KindCampaign.com.
What advice do you have for young women who are looking to start their own non-profit?
Molly: I would say definitely expect road bumps but don’t let them stop you. There were little times throughout starting Kind Campaign where things were kind of thrown our way that could have thrown us off the path we were on. But again, just being so passionate about what we were doing, we didn’t take no for an answer and we came up with an alternative solution. So I think you know, just not giving up when the going gets tough is so important.
If you could give a piece of advice to young girls who are going through bullying what would it be?
Lauren: I think a really important piece of advice is to know that those experiences in school are not your entire world. There’s this whole life ahead of you. I just think back to my own experiences in middle school or even being in high school and it just feels like those school hallways are your entire world. It’s really hard to see out of that and get perspective, so just to know that school is just one chapter of your whole life story and that it gets better. Once you’re out of school you can surround yourself with like-minded people and kind of pick and choose the roots and the paths you want to take instead of being forced to come to the same school hallways everyday. So just hold on because it’s just one little chapter, one fraction of your life.
To learn more about the Kind Campaign, visit kindcampaign.com. Plus, check out all the looks from the Emmys red carpet (including Aaron Paul) in our gallery!