Active bystander training (4 hour course in one or two sessions)
All Bystander Intervention training includes how to intervene in public aggression situations. Given your physical type and presentation, gender, race, social status, geographic location, there are better and worse ways to intervene in a conflict situation. Learn how to identify a circumstance that requires intervention. Learn your go-to interventions. Learn to choose the most effective tactic from your bag of tricks. Practice this with the group.
What Rona Fischman’s program adds is how to peacefully confront racism, sexism, LGBTQ-phobia, Islamophobia, or antisemitism with people that you know. It has been proven that people rarely change their minds based on learning from a stranger; it is people they know and respect who influence them.
This class teaches techniques for setting respectful limits with someone you work with, someone in your family, or someone you see regularly in your neighborhood. How you respectfully discuss ideas with people you disagree with varies based on who you are. We look at the strengths and pitfalls of your verbal style. We’ll practice ways to maintain your integrity while avoiding an argument with someone you disagree with. This is easier said than done, but by the end of the program, you’ll have some go-to techniques to increase your chances of successful dialogue. The course also reviews other actions, such as witnessing and video-making, in a general way. There is a counseling aspect to the program, aimed at preparing each participant to contribute to social justice in a way that suits their strengths and abilities.
For the sake of security, the location for these classes will be sent to you by email, after you register. Here is a description of current venues, so that you can choose one that suits your needs.
Cambridge Dispute Settlement Center. April 25. Kendall Square.
Rona Fischman holds an MS in Counselor Education. She counseled and taught teenagers and adults, specializing in language and communication. She wrote curriculum for non-violent direct action in the 1980s and 1990s, for projects against nuclear power and against domestic violence. She is a founding member and early leader in the Daughters of Abraham interfaith book group model. She currently runs a small real estate buyer’s brokerage in Cambridge, MA.