FAQ about classes
What is active bystander intervention?
Active bystander intervention includes any and all behaviors that interrupt socially aggressive behaviors in public spaces. This can be as interactive as distracting an aggressive person long enough to remove a targeted person from a public space. It includes how to interrupt hate speech and how to stand up against hate speech aimed at you. It can be as non-interactive as helping to remove hate graffiti.
What is active bystander intervention training?
The focus of my work is to arm participants with the tools to assess their own strengths and weaknesses. Then, to provide techniques they can choose from to safely advocate for respect and civility in our society. No two people will make the same choices when witnessing social hostility; the class is designed to help you choose what practices are most likely to work for you. The program draws from curricula for civil disobedience, verbal self-defense, interrupting sexism and date-rape prevention, and interrupting racism and homophobia programs to create a 4-hour program that covers the needs of contemporary America.
What else can you tell me about active bystander tactics?
I regularly blog on active ally tactics, which include bystander intervention stories and other actions that interrupt hate.
Can I put together a group and have you come teach us?
To begin the process of creating a class for your group, register here.
I can effectively handle 12 minimum up to 30 people at a time, if there is a room big enough for 30 people to be talking at once during 1:1 practice sessions. If you can gather 12-15 willing people, we can figure out a date and time to conduct this class.
Can you teach my children?
I offer two programs suitable for students 12 years old and up. Please refer to the Bystander Intervention for Teens which explains the difference in these courses.
I teach a developmentally appropriate version of my adult class for teenagers. This program includes role playing. This is a two-hour program.
I have trained and certified to provide TAB by Quabbin Mediation which is aimed at children, twelve and older. This program teaches the principals of participatory bystander actions and how they benefit society. It does not include role playing by participants. This is a two-hour program that is taught by me, with a co-trainer.
Children under twelve are best served by programs aimed at their developmental level. There are anti-bullying curricula available elsewhere.
How long is the class and when can you do it?
My adult active bystander program is configured as 2 two-hour evening or afternoon classes. I also run it as a single 4-hour daytime class. The programs designed for adolescents are two hours long.
What are the requirements for a venue?
Space that is big enough for participants to stand up and practice 1:1 in a line. A room where other people are not passing through during the class. MBTA access. I prefer being able to offer unencumbered physical access/single floor level or elevator building, but this is principle as much as practical.
I can travel by car during the weekdays. On weekends, the venue needs to have MBTA access, or someone needs to drive me there.
Where have you taught this?
Community Dispute Resolution Center, GBIO, Melrose Human Rights Commission, Bedford Council on Aging, Church of Our Saviour, Temple B’nai Brith social action committee, Somerville Women’s Commission, Havurat Shalom, Voyagers Home School Collective, and private groups in the Boston area.
Can you do this as a webinar?
No. I can’t see a way to offer this as a webinar. In order to get a good sense of bodily safety and judgement about approaches, people need to be in a room together.
What does it cost?
The cost is $60 per person for the four-hour program, whether the program is done in one four-hour or two two-hour sessions. To being the process of developing a package for your group, please use this form. For further information contact my registrar.