University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Stand Up

When most people think about standing up, they imagine the grand gesture or heroic act. The truth is, the small and subtle ways that we stand up for one another every day can be as important as the acts of bravery that appear on the evening news. As part of a caring community, we encourage you to stand up...

for yourself

  • speak up if you don't feel respected or heard
  • ask for help when you need it

for others

  • help a friend in need
  • take the time to say or do something thoughtful
  • intervene or get help if you see someone being mistreated

for the campus community

  • speak out if you witness injustice instead of staying silent or walking away
  • counteract negative stereotypes through your words and actions
  • report incidents you witness (even if they don't seem major)

Standing up can be difficult but also rewarding, and the good news is you can ask others to help, and you don't need to do it perfectly! Often taking any sort of action (even if your voice is shaky and your words aren't exactly right) is effective and far preferable to remaining silent. One excellent way to stand up is by learning the 3 Ds and becoming an Active Bystander.