FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Amy Ard, Rose Berger
January 10, 2016
MEDIA AVAILABILITY NOW
2,500 TO BE TRAINED IN ‘ACTIVE BYSTANDER INTERVENTION’ DURING TRUMP'S INAUGURATION
Sojourners announced today that, in partnership with the online community Swamp Revolt, they will train 2,500 people in "active bystander intervention" while Mr. Trump is taking the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2017.
"While Mr. Trump takes his oath of office, we will train thousands in how to actually defend democracy, civility, and stand effectively in support with those who are actively targeted by this new administrations proposed policies," said Sojourners organizer Rose Marie Berger. "Being an active bystander is what 'Love Your Neighbor' looks like in action."
Twenty-two venues in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia are hosting "nonviolence and active bystander intervention" trainings with trainers provided by Sojourners and Swamp Revolt. Venues include local churches, gyms, yoga centers, campuses, and coffee shops.
"We want to welcome guests to our city and region for these historic events and send them home with effective skills in how to de-escalate conflict, use mobile devices to document injustice, and keep bad situations from getting worse," said Amy Ard, founder of Swamp Revolt.
Sixty-eight trainers will deploy across the metro region in 22 venues to teach skills in how to effectively de-escalate conflict, use a mobile device to document abuse, and intervene in situations of bullying or intimidation in public situations. Using role plays, hassle lines, background information on the U.S. history of nonviolence, and data from social scientists on active bystander intervention, trainers hope participants will quell incidents of hate behavior wherever it is encountered.
“As a longtime gathering place for conversation around the things that matter most, The Potter's House is honored to host this training in active nonviolence and bystander intervention. We are excited to see everyday people rise up and resist...we're ready for the Swamp Revolt!,” said Tim Kumfer, general manager at Potter's House cafe and bookstore in D.C's Adams Morgan neighborhood.
“Historically, the most powerful antidote to authoritarian figures has been strategic organizing and collective action. That includes civil resistance tactics like vigils, demonstrations, sit-ins, strikes, and boycotts, but also efforts to de-escalate tensions and violence like dialogue and third party nonviolent intervention. In all cases, training is key. Right now, this is one way to defend democracy, human rights, and a strong civil society,” said Maria J. Stephan, co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works, and a trainer for the Jan. 20th events.
Sojourners is a Christian advocacy organization dedicated to helping Christians put their faith into action for social justice. The mission of Sojourners is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church and the world.
Swamp Revolt was born the day after the 2016 election and is dedicated to everybody doing one thing every day that denounces politics of division, encourages dialogue, stymies dangerous political agendas, and lifts our spirit so we can continue the fight.
To learn more about the Jan. 20th Sojourners and Swamp Revolt trainings visit https://swamprevolt.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/jan-20-trainings/
Amy Ard, founder of D.C.-based Swamp Revolt, and Rose Berger, Sojourners organizer, are available for interviews. Please contact them directly through the information listed above. Photos available on request.