Saturday workshop scheduled on bias bullying in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

Saturday workshop scheduled on bias bullying in Grass Valley

Darrel Berkheimer
Submitted to The Union

We've all seen the results of bullying, and it's especially disheartening when we see children being tormented with insults, ridicule and even threats.

Bullies take advantage of those who are smaller, weaker or different in some way. And what makes it worse for the victim is the embarrassment and helplessness they experience when others watch and do nothing. Often, it's because the bystanders simply don't know or aren't sure what they should do.

Helping witnesses learn what to do in such situations is the objective of a Saturday public workshop, "Witness Training: What To Do When You See Bias-Related Bullying."

The workshop is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains, 246 S. Church St. It is being presented by Creating Communities Beyond Bias with the support of the Unitarian Universalist Community, and it is scheduled to be the first of several.

The workshop is planned for 30 participants with a suggested donation of $10, based on ability to pay, but no one will turned away.

Those wanting to attend are requested to register by email at rsvp@uugrassvalley.org, or by calling Beryl Maclean at (510) 384-7162.

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The workshop will involve discussions and role-playing by participants in various scenarios — under the guidance of facilitators Annie Haymaker and Josie Crawford.

Through her work with Creating Communities Beyond Bias, Crawford, a classroom educator, has experience with the Alternatives to Violence workshop and racial literacy meetings at Nevada County Library. Haymaker trained bilingual teachers in Mendocino County, spent five years in the Pacific Islands, and has led multi-cultural singing in prison, church and community choirs.

The workshop was prompted by a racial incident on Sept. 26, when teenager Imani Walker was walking along Mill Street in Grass Valley. Three male occupants in a black car began following Imani and yelled racial slurs and insults at him. Imani is the son of Jamal Walker, general manager at Summer Thyme's Bakery and Deli on Colfax Avenue.

The incident sparked a "love walk" through downtown in support of diversity and tolerance that following Friday afternoon. An estimated 1,000 plus participated.

Creating Communities Beyond Bias, a non-profit organization of Earth Justice Ministries, will announce more workshops on bias bullying early in the new year. Jamal Walker and Bill Drake of Nevada City are co-founders of the organization.

Source: Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains

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