Don’t be a bystander!

During our discussion of the right to dignity, we seek to give campers tools with which they can disrupt injustice. What can you do when you see someone being disrespected, hurt, or oppressed?

Campers first discussed the bystander effect:

…and then they watched this video:

Then campers split into groups of four and created skits about moments when they’ve seen or experienced disrespect or injustice. Their stories included:

  • Seeing someone shoplifting
  • A young person being bullied on the school bus
  • Police hassling a person of color in a wealthy neighborhood
  • A female person of color being sexually harassed by a group of white boys

While watching the skits, campers were invited to stand up and enter the scene, trying out ways they might disrupt the situation. Approaches they experimented with included:

  • Using their voice to interrupt the situation
  • Using their phone to video an interaction
  • Sitting down next to a bullied person to be an ally
  • Standing between two people in conflict
  • Telling an offending person they are wrong

What other techniques might you use? Are there situations where it might be unsafe to intervene? Would your reaction be different if you were the only person that saw the situation? Or if you were in a huge crowd of people? Would your reaction change depending on your identity, race, or gender?

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What are You Waiting For?

Join us for Peacebuilders Evening Camp in Atlanta! We’re taking the excitement of Peacebuilders summer camp and bringing it closer to home for those in and around the metro Atlanta area. You’ll learn the basics of human rights and discover how you can work to make change in the Atlanta community. Get ready to make new friends, share your ideas, and meet inspiring people who are creating hope and standing up for justice! Let’s get started building peace in our world!