Got Your Back! UMD and Bystander Collaboration

Got Your Back! UMD

Got Your Back! UMD encourages EVERYONE to notice harmful situations around them EVERYDAY, and to take the steps to safely and effectively intervene. TOGETHER, we can create a safe place at UMD and positively shape the culture that we learn and work in. If you are interested in getting involved and learning more visit our calendar of events for updated campus workshops. We have expanded our bystander intervention program, and have created a presentation on Bystander Collaboration that helps create a deeper understanding of bias, privilege, and microaggression, and what we can do collectively to create inclusive spaces. See below for details.


Read about Bystander Intervention and Consent Week at UMD in the Duluth News-Tribune, fall 2018.

Hear our Peer Health Educators talk about Got your Back! UMD on KUMD. Spring 2018.

Read the homepage story from 2014.


How GOT YOUR BACK! UMD came to be

In the spring of 2013, UMD’s Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity sent out a call for grant proposals that would initiate programming on campus that supports goal 2 of UMD’s Strategic Plan. Goal 2 serves to “Create a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity and social justice”.  Health Services staff responded to the call with a proposal to bring the StepUp! Bystander Intervention Program Train the Trainer Webinar to campus.  The proposal was awarded the UMD Equity Education and Diversity Grant Funds, and on May 8, 2013, thirty three campus community members (students, staff and faculty) attended the training, representing 22 campus units, student organizations and academic departments.  Another Train the Trainer Webinar was brought to UMD in 2016. UMD Health Services education staff and the Peer Health Educators have developed a presentation and initiatives unique to UMD, called Got Your Back! UMD.

Vision, Mission, and Goals 


The vision for the bystander intervention initiative at UMD is to support UMD in its efforts to create a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity and social justice (Goal 2).


The mission of Got Your Back! UMD is to create a culture of actualized shared responsibility and individual action in challenging unjust and hurtful words, behaviors and attitudes, or simply to help someone in need; action that in turn serves to create a safe, positive and inclusive campus climate for all.


The Goals of the bystander intervention initiative are:

1. To increase awareness and knowledge that supports noticing events and interpreting events as a problem.

2. To deliver tools and strategies that inform safe and effective intervention.

3. To build confidence and motivation that inspires taking personal responsibility to act.


Topics covered in GOT YOUR BACK! UMD Bystander Intervention workshops and classroom presentations

1. Introduction to Got Your Back! UMD and Bystander Intervention

2. Common Barriers to intervening

3. The 5 steps to intervention
                        a. Notice the event
                        b. Interpret it as a problem
                        c. Assume personal responsibility
                        d. Know how to help
                        e. Take action

4. Tips for effective and safe interventions

5. Intervention styles

6. Strategies for intervention (direct and indirect)

7. Scenario/group work

8. Conclusion

Got Your Back! UMD is an initiative inspired by the StepUp! Bystander Intervention Program at the University of Arizona, Founded by Becky Bell.

Bystander Collaboration

In the fall of 2020, Public Health Intern Azrin Awal, and Health Educator Dori Decker, developed a presentation using some bystander intervention concepts to address the importance of collaborating to create inclusive spaces. 

The purpose of the "Bystander Collaboration" workshop, in support of UMD's Goal 2, is to:

(1) Increase understanding of bias, privilege, and microaggressions

(2) Encourage noticing harmful words and actions (including our own words and actions)

(3) Provide tools and strategies for safe and effective bystander collaboration

Topics included in the Bystander Collaboration Presentation include:

1. Introduction to bias: implicit and explicit 

2. Introduction to priviledge: definition, reflection, overview of social identity groups

3. Introduction to the types of microaggressions: definitions, examples, video

4. Interrupting microaggressions using bystander collaboration

              a. Anatomy of an apology

              b. Tips for having courageous conversations

5. Conclusion

This body of works was followed up with a presentation designed by Azrin to facilitate allyship and antiracism.