This article first appeared in the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary newsletter.
On May 3, an Active Bystander Training with community organizer, communications strategist and trainer Tameka Bell of Washington, D.C., drew 48 participants to learn how to take action in response to incidents of interpersonal or systemic oppression.
Bell offered strategies for de-escalating conflict by engaging the target rather than the attacker, documenting the incident and offering the target support.
Noting that 867 hate crimes were reported in the U.S. in the week following the November 2016 presidential election, she encouraged participants to decide "not to let something happen on [their] watch."
Seventeen people stayed for the second part of the session, in which they took turns role-playing scenarios as the oppressor, the targeted person and the active bystander, and processed their experiences together under Bell's leadership (pictured above).
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Photos: Tameka Bell engages with participants during the role-play portion of the May 3 Active Bystander Training. (Credit: Annette Brill Bergstresser)