By Ashley Maier on August 21, 2012 · tagged as ,

Upstanders from Facing History and Ourselves

PreventConnect’s David Lee discusses the increasing popularity of a promising strategy to prevent teen dating and related violence, the bystander approach, in his short presentation, Trends in Teen Dating Violence Prevention 2012.

What’s exciting about bystander approaches is that it’s looking at this in a way that’s not trying to identify everyone as either potential victims or potential perpetrators, but recognizes that people within the community are potential bystanders who can take action to create change.

Facing History and Ourselves, an organization that combats racism, anti-semitism, and prejudice and nurtures democracy through education programs worldwide, promotes this approach by highlighting those it defines as upstanders.

UPSTANDER: (up’stand’er) n. An individual, group, or institution that chooses to take a positive stand and act on behalf of themselves and others.

If you are in Chicago August 27-November 11, 2012, visit their exciting Choosing to Participate exhibit at the Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center.  The exhibit is an interactive, multimedia exhibition that encourages visitors to consider the consequences of their everyday choices and inspires them to make a difference in their communities.

Can’t make it to Chicago?  No problem!  Visit Facing History and Ourselves’ Upstander page.  Here you can browse the inspiring stories of upstanders around the globe.

I hear people refer to stories of upstanders as “amazing” far too often.  I look forward to the day when, through projects like this, these stories become commonplace – a new norm.


Ashley Maier

More Posts by Ashley Maier

Ashley Maier, MSW, MPA, has worked in the movement to end gendered violence for well over a decade. She began as a volunteer at a domestic violence shelter in Illinois, served as a hospital-based advocate in St. Louis, coordinated community health/family violence training programs for pediatric residents in St. Louis and San Diego, and managed Oregon’s Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) grantees and program. Ashley is a contributing author to Lantern Book’s 2013 publication, Defiant Daughters: 21 Women on Art, Activism, Animals, and The Sexual Politics of Meat and is creator of the 2015 book, Circles of Compassion: Connecting Issues of Justice.

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