Stand UP, Step IN, Speak OUT
Because ONE VOICE can change EVERYTHING
by Kilomarie Granda, Unspoken Voices
Stand UP, Step IN, Speak OUT
What is this program?
This program is designed to address power based violence in a culturally sensitive and research based manner, encouraging bystanders to become active in stopping potentially unhealthy or violent situations.
What is power based violence?
Any form of violence that is motivated by power and/or control. This includes, but is not limited to; bullying, stalking, sexual assault, intimidation, and interpersonal violence. These acts can be committed by friends, acquaintances, loved ones, and strangers.
What is a bystander?
An individual that observes a situation or a behavior that could lead to an unhealthy and/or violent situation and is faced with the choice to do something, do nothing, or help perpetuate these negative behaviors.
(Reasons why people don’t stand up or step in)
Most of us agree that violence is not okay. However, even though we may agree that violence of any kind, including bullying, should not happen, we may not feel comfortable actually stepping in to stop a potentially volatile situation. What obstacles keep us from speaking out or stepping in?
"You don’t have to be a hero to be an active bystander, you just have to be YOU!"
Let’s face it. Even as adults, we can have difficulty in making a decision that may lead to embarrassment or derision on the part of our peers. How can we expect children and adolescents to be any different? This program approaches bystander intervention by allowing individuals to intervene in a way that feels comfortable and safe for them.
Not all of us are bold or outspoken. Perhaps we feel intimidated by speaking out. Maybe we have been taught that we shouldn’t step in to a situation that does not directly involve us. We all have reasons for being afraid to stand up and say “NO” to violence. That’s ok! Even if we don’t feel comfortable being direct, we can still take action in other ways. This program highlights way in which we can still intervene despite these obstacles.
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How was this program created?
Throughout the past three years, Unspoken Voices has been creating a Culturally Sensitive, Research Based Bystander Intervention & Consent Training Program.
This research project was conducted using qualitative and quantitative measures, including multiple surveys and listening sessions throughout the state. Included in the demographic of individuals surveyed were multiple groups including, but not limited to: providers of services for survivors of sexual assault and violence, members of the the Latinx, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized communities throughout Minnesota.
We have utilized existing connections to these communities to conduct authentic engagement and solicit honest feedback about bystander-intervention programs using a combination of public forums, one-on-one interviews, online and paper surveys, as well as consultation with several “champions” from these communities who will be defined through the course of the project. This research, combined with peer-reviewed bystander dynamics research has led to the creation of our bystander program.
What makes this program different?
Our preview performances, found on our website, www.unspokenvoices.net, are simply that, just a preview. We have selected skits that include a wide range of scenarios. What is so unique about this program is how our organization can tailor these skits and programming to your situation. This means that if your school is currently having a problem with cultural acceptance, we can tailor our programming to fit that. Perhaps you are dealing with the need for training on healthy relationships. That is something we can do too! We want to serve you and your needs!
How is this program delivered?
Not only do we have an educational program, we also have an interactive delivery system, designed to engage the student at a level that they are comfortable with. To this end, Unspoken Voices created a Social Justice Troupe. The Unspoken Voices Social Justice Arts Troupe is made up of artists and activists with the common goal of utilizing the emotionally persuasive power of art to spread information and create change. The troupe formed as part of the greater Unspoken Voices organization, and is working on multiple projects within the organization’s mission.
As the troupe grows, it will continue to find new ways to bridge social justice and the arts through theater, dance, visual arts, film, and any other mediums that the volunteers are able to work with. Change is best achieved when people are open and willing to change, and the arts have the power to not only entertain, but open up an audience to new ideas and information. By bringing people together in a creative setting, the troupe hopes to reach people in a way that can begin discussion and spread to a wider audience in an effective and powerful way.