Got Your Back! UMD

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Got Your Back! UMD

An initiative inspired and informed by the StepUp! Bystander Intervention Program at the University of Arizona, Founded by Becky Bell.

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, please contact Dori Decker at, or visit our calendar of events for updated campus workshops.


Read the homepage story from 2014

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

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.

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.

Strategies to support the vision:

  1. The bystander intervention TRAIN THE TRAINER WEBINAR will empower and equip UMD students, staff and faculty leaders across campus who participated in the webinar directly, to begin the momentum for intervention, and to cause a shift in positivity and inclusivity on campus.  By incorporating our version of the StepUp! Program on campus, UMD is making a statement that it recognizes the importance of each individual being sensitive to and taking action on issues of equity, diversity and social justice.   Bystanders have an important role to play in the learning and working climate at UMD. Leaders on campus have a responsibility to shape a positive environment for students and employees; what we say and do can shape this environment.
  2. Train the trainer workshops will be provided periodically (approximately every three years) to interested faculty, staff and students, as funding allows.
  3. The TRAINERS will commit to at least one bystander intervention presentation, each semester.  If each trainer presents to an average of 20 people each semester, in one year, we will have the potential to reach 1320 campus community members, or roughly 12% of the campus population. 
  4. UMD Health Services and the PEER HEALTH EDUCATORS will provide on-going campus programming as a part of their annual outreach. Health Services aims to reach approximately 2200 students each year.
  5. Faculty will be encouraged to incorporate bystander intervention topics into course CURRICULA, further defining the important role we all can play in social justice – one observation, one action, one word, at a time.

As students, staff and faculty across campus learn and practice intervention tools and strategies, UMD will see bystander intervention become the SOCIAL NORM.  The social norm of taking responsibility for each other, and in the process, educating about unjust attitudes and actions, will advance equity, diversity and social justice by creating a welcoming and safe climate for all (Goal 2!).

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. Intervention styles

5. Tips for successful intervention

6. Strategies for intervention (direct and indirect)

7. Scenario/group work

8. Conclusion