Active Bystander Training

By True Story Theatre

This is a program of True Story Theater and is hosted by Hopkinton Freedom Team and Hopkinton Youth & Family Services with support from members of the Hopkinton Youth Commission and Hopkinton Cultural Council.

Registration for High School and College age:

(High School and College age only should register here)


Tuesday, May 25th 5:30pm - 8pm

Monday, June 21st 5:30pm - 8pm

Registration for Adults 21 and over:

(Adults 21 and over only should register here)


Tuesday, May 18th 5:30pm - 8pm

Wednesday, June 9th 5:30pm - 8pm

Why two sessions?

The first session will offer an overview of skills speaking up, safely intervening to support people being targeted, and dialogue skills for building a more inclusive community. The second training will go more in-depth to practice with specific scenarios.

How long is each training?

These interactive online trainings are designed to address real scenarios within breakout rooms. Time flies by the time you get to the end of each session that runs for 2.5 hours.

How do I attend?

Once you register, a zoom link will be sent to you a few days before the event and reminders just before the event.

What to expect?

Once you register to attend these interactive online trainings, we will send you a zoom link to attend the event. Event reminders will be sent just before the event. The first session will offer an overview of skills speaking up, safely intervening to support people being targeted, and dialogue skills for building a more inclusive community. The second training will go more in-depth to practice with specific scenarios.

Who is an active bystander? What's this training all about?

Overview of active bystander interventions

Active bystanders, when they witness micro-aggressions, attacks, or other problematic interactions, they see these as harm-doing and step in to take constructive action. Positive action can take many forms, both during and after the event, depending on the situation, the persons involved, and the temperament and abilities of the bystander(s).

Being an active bystander requires practice using key skills in quickly evaluating situations and choose a course of action.

About the Training

Active Bystander Training is a live interactive training that provides real time scenarios to build skills when dealing with:

​EVERYDAY BIGOTRY: ​when someone you know personally (e.g., a co-worker, family member, neighbor) says or does something bigoted, whether intentionally or unintentionally

PUBLIC HARASSMENT: ​when you witness someone you do not know being the target of verbal abuse or prejudice (e.g., on the subway)

OBLIVIOUSNESS: ​when your own ignorance may cause unintentional harm to others (e.g., “micro-aggressions” ​and hidden bias) ​ + tips on being a good ally​

See an example in this video below:

What the Youth who took this training have said...

"It introduced me to a method of speaking out that I wouldn't have otherwise found or used. I am not afraid of being confrontational so I will often call people out but the steps of empathizing were something new to me that I think will make a big difference in the outcomes of my conversations."

"I was pushed out of my comfort zone and learned a lot of good tactics for hard situations."

What one of the Hopkinton attendees who took this training have said...

"The Upstander Training provided by True Story Theater has been worth every minute, every dollar and every role-play/dialogue exercise (and I am admittedly not partial to role-play.) I strongly believe that this training is incredibly important in these times for learning how to assist and stand up as an ally for/with those being disrespected or discriminated against or harmed by others whether this happens in a family conversation, in a group gathering or when passing someone by on the street. Furthermore, this training also teaches important skills for finding common ground and learning how to respectfully listen and have thoughtful conversations with one another so that we all can benefit from what might bring people closer together and be more caring for one another as well. This is exactly the training we all need to be learning and rehearsing in our hope for co-creating a more peaceful, united and love-minded world for ourselves, our children and our future generations."

-Cheryl Perreault

“It was extremely helpful to tackle real and specific challenges we are all facing in Hopkinton. I definitely feel like I already got some tools from the first exercise about stopping and calling out offensive comments. They came naturally when we were in the later exercise, which was great.”

-Anonymous attendee

“In some ways, [the Zoom setting] makes everyone equal. There is no feeling like an outsider if you arrive to training and groups of people are milling about talking and you don't feel like you have a pre-established place to mingle. It also strips away some of our external differences, as there is less focus on how we look, dress, etc. and more focus on how we think and who we are as people. Maybe I've forgotten what real in person events are like, but I think the virtual experience was effective since all were engaged and ‘eyes on screen.’"

-Anonymous attendee

“Please offer more opportunities. We could have done this all day and it would have flown by. Thank you!”

-Anonymous attendee

Please email us at if you have any questions