In these clips I share stories of myself as a bystander and how I responded, along with advice for intervening successfully.

Create a relationship

The importance of "creating a relationship" to provide a context for active bystander intervention.

Figurative rape

Responding to the inappropriate use of the phrase "that person raped me" using different intervention skills.

Responding to inappropriate questions

How I respond to inappropriate questions about myself as a speaker, including if I am gay or if I belonged to a fraternity in college. How I was a casualty of the Greek system.


Leaving a situation as a form of indirect intervention. The unintended positive impact of leaving.

Lowering the ante

De-escalating an aggressive response to an intervention. A story of responding to loud talking on an airplane.

The "parking Nazi."

A personal response to inappropriate use of the term Nazi, based on my own family's experience during the Holocaust.


A story of being an ally based on Muslim's experience of Ramadan in the U.S.

Bystander intervention choices

Lowering the barriers to bystander intervention. The powerful metaphor of "the closet."

"Shifting Attitudes."

Engaging the person in conversation as a bystander intervention option. The option of having an "open conversation" with someone as a way of helping them understand the inappropriateness of a remark. The importance of being interested in what others think.

"The Flight Attendant"
(A very challenging bystander intervention scenario).

How I responded to an inappropriate remark of a flight attendant during an airplane trip by creating a conversation and offering feedback.

"The graduate student"
(indirect intervention).

An African-American graduate student realizes that an indirect intervention is the best way to respond to the inappropriate remarks of her white friends.

"Unintentionally norming the negative"

An experience of a non-drinker being given a gift of free drinks.

"Getting others to intervene."

Creating the world that reflects our values and ideas. Engaging others to intervene.

Video of Alan Berkowitz speaking on Bystander Behavior

The following video interview with Alan Berkowitz on bystander behavior in the context of hazing and social justice issued was filmed in Sedona, Arizona as part of the RESPONSE ABILITY: Transforming Values Into Action DVD project.