COMBATING PREJUDICE AND BIAS ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES

Elimination of Prejudice programs and activities on college campuses have been a hallmark of Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity since the 1990s and expanded in 2017 with the addition of programs and events funded and run by the Elimination of Prejudice Foundation.   

“Bystander to Upstander” training, a joint initiative with Diversity Council of Rochester, Minn., is the signature program of Elimination of Prejudice Foundation and was conducted six times in locations from coast to coast, August 2017 to August 2018. About 30-40 “Bystander to Upstander” training presentations are anticipated over the next two years.

Universities and affiliated organizations interested in hosting and facilitating “Bystander to Upstander” training for their campus communities should contact info@eliminateprejudice.org.

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“Bystander to Upstander” sessions are participatory scenario-based presentations that provide opportunities for individuals to learn about and practice responses to incidents they might encounter on campus and in their daily lives. Unlike traditional diversity training, these activity-based workshops focus on real-time interventions. The sessions include general instruction in courageous listening and observing, as well as culturally-specific insights and role-playing exercises with tips and tactics for de-escalation, respectful intervention, and accountability.

Objectives:

1. Creating safe spaces to discuss hate/biases incidences in our challenging social and cultural climate;

2. Providing skills and tactics for safe and effective engagement in social interactions; and

3. Offering resources and organizing tools for the continued advancement of social justice on campus.

Interactivity: “Bystander to Upstander” sessions have two core processes: establishing common language and tactics, and running scenarios based on real-life interactions. Group exercises provide opportunities for individuals to work through incidents with peer coaching and continual dialog, building a repertoire of responses. Most critically, this methodology instills a new decision-making paradigm, where a trained individual can no longer rely on simple instinct, but must choose to intervene or not knowing that they have the skills to act effectively. Scenario cards, response tip cards, and professional assistance are provided in these authentic skill-building sessions.


Tools: Session participants leave with tactical guides they can reference on and off campus, supported by their newly-developed understanding of the impact of bias and prejudice on campus culture. Most significantly, participants feel empowered to act because of the practical skills and personal awareness that come from examining interactions through a new lens. Individuals who have gone through the sessions feel the change keenly, and while not all are ready to act, all acknowledge the ability to do so.