Bystander Leadership Program: From Insight to Action
From the Nominator
The Bystander Leadership Program is a program aimed at engaging faculty in discussions to enhance knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors about issues related to diversity and inclusion, and to move them to take action. The one-day, highly interactive educational workshop is a flagship program of FIU ADVANCE, Florida International University's institutional transformation project. The project is funded by a five-year, $3.2 million National Science Foundation grant awarded in 2016 to develop innovative organizational change strategies across STEM disciplines. Bystander leadership is defined as an action taken by a person or persons (not directly involved as a target or perpetrator) to speak out about or to seek to engage others in responding (either directly or indirectly, immediately or at a later time) against interpersonal or systemic gender, race, or other bias incidents. BLP focuses on teaching a five-step bystander intervention procedure (notice the event, interpret what is happening, lead by taking responsibility to intervene, decide how to react, and then act) and provides practice using active intervention behaviors in response to examples of gender and race bias. The workshop emphasizes experiential learning, including observational learning, reflection, and hands-on experience. Participants are provided with multiple opportunities to engage in intervention behaviors as an individual and to act in concert with peers in response to staged interactive theater performances by professional actors, as well as case studies and skits.
From the Judges
This program was an example of what happens when the university makes an investment of capital and academic resources. It was impressive and well documented, and it engaged everyone by requiring everyone to participate. This program can be replicated at other institutions, and the activities can be scaled to meet the needs of the institution. It models global best practices and includes practical how to’s and measurable data.