Being an active bystander skill learned during a Green Dot training in Lexington

KFTC members learned about being an “active bystander” at a May 31 training the Central Kentucky KFTC Chapter sponsored with Green Dot Lexington.

“During the course of the evening, KFTC members enhanced their understanding of different intervention techniques that diffuse tension in potentially high-risk situations, and expanded their awareness on everyday ways they can advocate for community safety,” said Green Dot facilitator Meredith Swim.

Green Dot teaches that there are three ways to intervene in a violent situation – the Three Ds. The Three Ds are: direct, delegate and distract. Direct is directly engaging with the situation, but many of us might struggle to do that so we can also delegate to friends and family of the victim or the police. Or, we can create a distraction and de-escalate the situation.

“The Green Dot Lexington training was instrumental in examining the barriers that might prevent me from intervening in any given situation, and gave me three simple options for overcoming or circumventing the barriers,” said training participant Colette Crown. “It is very easy to remember the 3 Ds.”

"Talking about violence is something that is difficult for most people, so to have a group of willing participants gather for that purpose was amazing. I learned a lot and am planning on having conversations with people I care about and work with about the things I learned, and that I strongly believe that violence in our community is unacceptable. Thanks to all the speakers!"
Rachel Norton

Green Dot is a nationally celebrated nonviolence program that believes our everyday decisions hold the power to prevent and reduce violence in our home community. Each time we choose to act to ensure the safety of others, we are putting a green dot (a moment of safety) on our community map.

Central Kentucky chapter members decided to partner with Green Dot to helps us to be active bystanders in our community, and more specifically in the activist community. At times it seems that as activists we might believe that we have it all figured out – we are always peaceful and respectful to one another and interpersonal violence is not a problem. But there are moments of power-based violence in the activist community, too, and chapter members wanted to offer this training as a way to address that violence and be a part of creating a safer community for all.

According to Green Dot Lexington, “We love Lexington, and we envision Lexington's community map to be filled with green dots, showing that here in the bluegrass, we do not tolerate any form of violence, and everyone is expected to do their part in keeping this community safe.”

“Green Dot Lexington unites Lexingtonians in the mission of cultivating a safer community, and KFTC members are actively making this vision a reality. Aligned with the mission of green dot, these empowered activists purposefully channel their passion for social justice to promote and ensure safety for all,” said Swim.

“The Green Dot Lexington training … gave me three simple options for overcoming or circumventing the barriers. It is very easy to remember the 3 Ds.” – Colette Crown

“Green Dot Lexington was excited to partner with KFTC and host a bystander workshop where engaged attendees strengthened their commitment to prevent, reduce and stop power-based personal violence by choosing to be active bystanders,” Swim added. “Green Dot Lexington loved connecting with KFTC and looks forward to seeing how these community change-makers continue to shape a safer, more compassionate city.”

Through interactive talks and trainings, Green Dot Lexington educates community members to be aware and active bystanders, equipping them with the personal tools needed to peacefully resolve potential moments of conflict and live lives that promote respect and safety for all.

A green dot is a moment of safety. A green dot is the moment a bystander decides to act and use his or her words, actions or behaviors to diffuse tension and stop an act of violence from occurring. A green dot is making sure everyone gets home from the bar safely. A green dot is checking in on someone you’re concerned about with a text. A green dot is having a conversation with loved ones about the importance of looking out for one another and fellow community members.

A green dot is liking Green Dot Lexington on Facebook and learning more on ways to can get involved in creating a safer, and more compassionate Lexington. Email greendotlexington@gmail.com to learn about attending a bystander training.