Surviving Bullies Project

Meet the Surviving Bullies Project Members

Dickon Pownall-Gray

Dickon Pownall-Gray
(click to enlarge)
Age 50. From ages 11 to 14, Dickon was severely bullied in the United Kingdom. On one occasion he was hospitalized after a particularly bad beating.

Dickon lives in Weston, Connecticut. He is married with three daughters. Three years ago he experienced a series of post-traumatic flashbacks from his time of being bullied. Dickon subsequently became motivated to help bullied teens. He decided to dedicate the next five years to developing multi-media anti-bullying tools designed to help protect teen targets of bullying.

Dickon did his undergraduate studies at Birmingham University and holds master’s degrees from the University California Berkeley and the London Business School. Dickon is a successful entrepreneur and prides himself on his ability to translate complex ideas into simple practical tools.

Dickon is funding the Surviving Bullies Project from his own financial resources.

Shan Shan Jiang

Shan Shan Jiang
(click to enlarge)
Age 23. From ages 12 to 14, Shan Shan was seriously bullied in the New Haven, Connecticut school system. Shan Shan’s experience was particularly difficult because she had just moved from mainland China. At the time, she spoke relatively poor English and was foreign to the culture.

Shan Shan found the courage to speak out about her bullying experiences as a panelist for the Anti-Defamation League’s High School Anti-Bullying program, (Names Can Really Hurt Us). 

After graduating from Yale University with a B.A. in Sociology, Shan Shan dedicating a year working full time with Dickon on the Surviving Bullies Project before attending medical school.

Rebecca Cohen

Age 22.  Rebecca attended the same middle school and high school as Shan Shan, in a community where there was low acceptance for difference. In her senior year of high school, Rebecca was cyber-bullied by a fellow honors student, who sent her harassing e-mails and fabricated lies in an online journal about her. When Rebecca tried to appeal to school authorities for help, they didn’t believe her. She felt helpless—as if her reputation among school authorities as a “good student” was erased, and that she had been branded the “problem student.”

Rebecca graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s degree in English, and was happy to join the SBP team with Dickon and Shan Shan to help in the anti-bullying awareness campaign.


Officially, we are the Surviving Bullies Project, a “grassroots effort dedicated to helping targets of bullying, their family, friends and community.”

But who are we, really?

We are a group of real people—spunky, fun, and steadfastly driven to make a difference. We thrive on the energy we have as a group, and we pride ourselves in being a little bit of everything. Together, we are writers, computer techies, innovators, spokespeople, advocates, music buffs, aspiring cartoonists, and sports fanatics—all rolled into one.

Dickon: Author of Surviving Bullies Workbook, founder of the Surviving Bullies Project

Likes: Billy Connolly, Eddie Izzard, Julie Christie
Dislikes: Howler monkey brains au poivre
Favorite Music: Dvorak (Symphony New World), Mozart (Requiem), Sibelius (Finlandia)
Favorite Movies: Zulu (Michael Caine), Robin Hood (Errol Flynn), The Shawshank Redemption (Tim Robbins)
Favorite Books: The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay), The Physician (Noah Gordon), A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson)
Favorite Quotes: “Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted” General Sir Henry Pownall, “Mean people suck”, Anonymous
Personal Heroes: Ernest Shackelton, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela.

Shan Shan: Illustrator, Contributing Writer, Resident Thief of Writing Utensils

Likes: Stealing other people’s pens, typos, happiness, puppies, Adobe Indesign, buffalo wings, PDF files,, China, sunny days, tardiness, awesome people, editorials, picture books, continuities, sushi, going to new places, overdosing on laughing, snorkeling, talking, sleeping, running.
Dislikes: mean people, rabid squirrels, dill pickles, egos.
Favorite Music: Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, Fiona Apple, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Jack Johnson, Alexi Murdoch, Michael Jackson (old school)
Favorite Movies: High Fidelity, Wag the Dog, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Vanilla Sky, Pretty Woman, Wedding Crashers, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Truman Show, Shrek, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, Harold and Kumar go to White Castle
Favorite Books: The Giving Tree, The Awakening, Pride and Prejudice, Kitchen Confidential, Complications, The Joy Luck Club, The Handmaid’s Tale, Nickel and Dimed
Favorite Quote: “Happiness is a journey, not a place.” – a button on my backpack
Personal Hero: My mom

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