Upstander? Bystander? Instigator? There are lots of buzzwords en vogue with any discussion around bullying. At JMF, we cultivate upstanders, individuals who see wrong and act, who take a stand against acts of injustice or intolerance.Being an upstander not only develops a culture of respect for all, it actively encourages and supports others to become upstanders as well.
One key way that JMF accomplishes this is through our We Step Up program. We Step Up is designed to create a generation of leaders committed to standing up for respect of our differences by fostering an environment of acceptance. We Step Up features the “Leadership Through Acceptance” workshop. The goal of this workshop is to actively engage students in understanding the importance of diversity so they can more readily respect all people for the gifts and talents they possess. Our program focuses upon developing students as leaders who actively engage their peers in understanding the importance of diversity. Using a peer-to-peer mentoring approach, our We Step Up leaders develop into upstanders.
There are countless resources available that encourage individuals to be upstanders and to use during National Bullying Prevention Month.
Bystander Revolution provides definitions, advice, and support for bullying with videos by celebrities. Organized by problems one might encounter, solutions to try, and advice in various situations, it is an incredible tool for upstanders.
Have you ordered a Pumpkin Spiced Latte from Starbucks yet? When you do, take a look at the green sleeves… What does it say, but “Upstanders?” Upstanders is an original Starbucks series that highlights ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their communities.
Wondering about a new book to pick up? If you haven’t already, you have to meet Auggie and his friends in the New York Times Bestseller Wonder as they impart a lesson in acceptance of all. A free “Daily Wonder” app is available to help you wake up with a positive message to start the day.
Natalie Hampton, a 16-year-old from California designed the app “Sit With Us” for individuals to coordinate lunch with one another so they do not have to sit alone.
Songs and music videos exist by artists like Macklemore and X Ambassadors that promote accepting those you encounter. One of our favorite videos shows that when you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own.
The Joseph Maley Foundation would like to leave you with a challenge. With everyone you meet, spread kindness. And for every one being treated unfairly, be an upstander.