Witness training class on bullying from Creating Communities Beyond Bias in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

Witness training class on bullying from Creating Communities Beyond Bias in Grass Valley

Submitted to The Union

The Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains is set to host "Witness Training" from Creating Communities Beyond Bias from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at 246 South Church St., Grass Valley. The class is free to attend or a $10 suggested donation, but no one will be turned away.

Class will include a discussion of various responses people can make when witnessing bias-related bullying and opportunities to role-play real life scenarios.

When the harassment of Jamal Walker's son Imani took place last September, there was a "Love Walk" gathering in Grass Valley on Sept. 29 to support diversity and tolerance.

At that event, Creating Communities Beyond Bias distributed a handout listing ways that people could be helpful in such situations.

After the rally, local people reacted on social media by asking for a training for allies, which prompted Creating Communities Beyond Bias to create and schedule this training.

The first training was held on Nov. 11, 2017, at Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains, with 20 people attending. This will be the second training.

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Annie Haymaker and Josie Crawford will be the trainers for the class.

Haymaker lived for five years in the Pacific Islands, trained bilingual teachers in Mendocino County, and has led multi-cultural singing in prison, church and community choirs.

Crawford is a classroom educator, has experience with Alternatives To Violence workshops, and leads racial literacy meetings at the Nevada County Library.

The handout that will be shared at the training class will go over a 10-step handout on "What to Do When You Witness Bias-Related Bullying."

What to do when you witness bias-related bullying

Be a witness to the situation by stopping and looking at all the people involved, and obviously noticing what is going on. Do not look away or walk on by.

Protect and comfort the targeted person in any way you can — put your arm around them, pull them to safety, engage them in conversation, to show you are an ally.

Record the event, take down identifying information (license plates, descriptions of the people doing the bullying, etc)

Enlist support of others around you to witness, protect and comfort, and record the event.

Report the event to the authorities with the permission of the target (the target may have reasons not to want the police or other authorities involved).

De-escalate with the people doing the bullying if you feel safe in doing so, and if you have experience in defusing problematic situations. Realize that escalating the situation could lead to personal violence, destruction of property, and increased polarization of the community.

Follow up after the situation is resolved, to see what kind of publicity, support, retaliation, reports to authorities, and community organization response resulted.

Do not tolerate any form of racism or discrimination, especially if you are the person of authority in service to or in charge of an event, school, church, place of business, town, etc.

Get involved with a group beyond social media that is dealing with social oppression, and put energy into making a change in your community.

Educate yourself and those around you on the issues of discrimination, bias and privilege: Read, listen, watch videos, notice what is happening, share what you are learning with others.

Listen to and take direction from the socially oppressed groups.

Source: Creating Communities Beyond Bias.


WHAT: Witness Training: What to do when you see bias-related bullying

WHEN: 1-4 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains, 246 South Church St., Grass Valley

COST: $10 suggested donation, no one turned away

INFO: For more information or to register for the class call 530-265-2084

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