Active witnessing: Delta folks learn to stand up to racism

April 29, 2021

By Anti-RCISM |

Huddled over the screen were Megan Simpson and her 9-year-old son. Together, they go over cue cards to choose the best response to a hate incident. It’s their first training on taking action against discrimination, and from time to time, her son would turn to her for questions like, “Mom, why do these things keep happening?”

Megan’s family lives in Delta, one of the largest cities in the Metro Vancouver Region with a fast-growing immigrant population. Her son has seen how his IBPOC peers are often subjects of bullying. In joining the “Active Witnessing Workshop” by Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consultant Angela Brown, both of them learned about how to respond to an incident of racism and hate.

Throughout the summer, two Active Witnessing Workshops were offered online by Delta’s Organizing Against Racism and Hate committee, through the support of the Deltassist Family and Community Services Society, member of the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network. Working to eliminate racism in Delta communities for years, the committee believes in building safe communities through bystander trainings.

“The workshop teaches you how to engage safely with the victim, another witness or even the perpetrator. We learned about how to assess the power imbalances in a situation and how to choose the right course of action,” said Lee Kosa, a Delta committee member and the lead organizer of the trainings. A total of 130 participants joined the two events.

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