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Founder & CEO of ReThink Trisha Prabhu Speaks at Skeptics
Paula Hong

Indian revolutionary and political ethicist Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” That’s exactly what Trisha Prabhu did when she founded ReThink, an organization and global movement to tackle cyberbullying and redefine Internet culture to be more positive. On Tuesday, March 28, Blair students and faculty will get a chance to hear how the young “change agent” brought her idea to fruition at Skeptics. 

 

“ReThink came out of an experience that I had as a young individual who both experienced and witnessed others falling victim to bullying and harassment,” said Ms. Prabhu in a pre-event interview. “As a teenager, I read stories about young individuals experiencing extreme cyberbullying and harassment and I remember feeling so frustrated that that was our status quo. I wanted to disrupt that status quo and make the Internet kinder and more inclusive.”

 

At the age of 13, little did Ms. Prabhu know that her desire would pave the way to her becoming founder of an invention that major conglomerates, such as Google and Microsoft, and world famous leaders, including presidents of nations, would celebrate. 

 

Today, in addition to her role as CEO of ReThink, Ms. Prabhu is studying at University of Oxford in the United Kingdom as a Rhodes Scholar. There, she is learning how to build additional technology and policies to counter harmful online speech. Ms. Prabhu graduated from Harvard University with a bachelors of arts degree in Government and Technology.

 

“A lot of my (current) work is to try and get young people to think critically about their digital footprint. Is their digital identity as strong as the one they have in person?” asked Ms. Prabhu.

 

When asked to speak at Blair, moreover, Ms. Prabhu was excited to reminisce. “When I heard about the Society of Skeptics program at Blair Academy, I was blown away by the fact that such a program for young students even existed, because when you’re young, you’re thinking about what matters to you, what kind of change do you want to create in the world and which role models you can look to,” she said.

 

“I  benefited at that age from those kinds of initiatives so I can’t wait to visit and offer my tips and advice. I also want to offer advice on how to bring ideas to fruition. You have to do two fundamental things: find some part of an issue you really care about and figure out what your ‘special sauce’ or special skill set is that you can use to make a change.”

 

All are invited to hear Ms. Prabhu speak in the forum of the Chiang-Elghanayan Center next Tuesday at 7 p.m.


History of Skeptics

The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.

The program, which is funded in part by the Class of 1968 Society of Skeptics Endowment Fund, is an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon. ’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller and his successor, history department chair Jason Beck, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are thought-provoking, engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please visit Blair’s website.

 

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