“Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms,” Gene Roddenberry said of Star Trek's philosophy.
Honoring those wise words, William Shatner and other Star Trek cast members took time out last week to participate in a T-shirt drive and raise money for a crucial cause: overcoming bullying and social injustice.
Be Kind T-Shirts are currently on sale, with proceeds funding school programs by Pop Culture Hero Coalition to teach Star Trek’s Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations through school curriculum to children and teens, with an emphasis on work -- free of charge -- in schools that cannot afford programs to end bullying.
Pop Culture Hero Coalition is the first-ever 501c3 nonprofit organization that uses stories from Star Trek, and other TV and movies, to make a stand against bullying, racism, misogyny, LGBTQ-bullying, cyberbullying and other forms of hate.Founded in 2013 by actress Chase Masterson (
Founded in 2013 by actress Chase Masterson (Deep Space Nine's Leeta) with award-winning anti-bullying author and expert Carrie Goldman, the Coalition’s Partners are the United Nations Association, the NOH8 Campaign, Random Acts and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.
In addition to Shatner and Masterson, Terry Farrell (Jadzia), Nana Visitor (Kira), Armin Shimerman (Quark), Max Grodenchik (Rom), Jeff Combs (Brunt and Weyoun), Casey Biggs (Damar), and Hana Hatae (Molly O’Brien) participated in the campaign.
That’s not the only Star Trek connection to the Be Kind T-Shirts: the campaign was created by the Heughligans, a fan club related to Outlander, developed by executive producer and showrunner Ronald D. Moore (The Next Generation, DS9 and Voyager), on which DS9's Ira Steven Behr served as executive producer.
Masterson and the majority of her team are all-volunteers; pop-culture-savvy clinical psychologists and experts are being hired to create the curriculum, which is research-based and will be piloted in schools in 2017. Masterson says, “We love our onscreen heroes. Why not be heroes, too? So many people have told us, ‘I wish you had this when I was in school.’”
Leonard Nimoy once said this about kindness: “The miracle is this: the more we share, the more we have.” And the Coalition is having huge success, such as in their groundbreaking work with children who were affected by the San Bernardino mass shooting and experienced an increase in PTSD and bullying, as well as an inner-city schools in Chicago and other areas.
In discussing entertainment, Chris Pine has said, "...We also have, I do think, a distinct responsibility to put kindness in the world."
“Roddenberry created a powerful key to social justice,” says Masterson, “and we are continuing that work in real life. We have the opportunity to teach IDIC to kids, before it’s too late... before there are any more suicides, or broken hearts, or battered psyches due to bullying -- and we truly appreciate your support in this crucial work.”
Facebook: Pop Culture Hero Coalition
Twitter & Insta: @SuperheroIRL