TFC News

Workshop seeks to help combat rise of hate crimes in U.S.

TJ Manotoc | ABS-CBN North America Bureau Chief

Posted at Mar 23 2023 05:25 PM | Updated as of Mar 25 2023 09:16 PM

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In response to the increasing number of hate incidents happening across the country, more and more groups are coming together to prevent harassment and violence in public.

One such group is the anti-harassment organization "Right to Be," which recently partnered with Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Stop AAPI Hate, and Wells Fargo to facilitate a free training session on Bystander Intervention.

The event, held in Japantown in downtown San Francisco, was an inter-community workshop aimed at educating the public on actions they can take to address bias-motivated harassment.

According to recent FBI data, hate crimes have continued to surge in New York and other major cities. Local police data has shown that six major metro cities are seeing record levels of hate crimes not seen in the last 40 years.

"Right to Be" founder Emily May shared with the community the simple yet effective intervention techniques that have been proven to temper down situations that could lead to more dire consequences. 

She called these the 5-D's: Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay, and Direct. 

To distract, the bystander should ignore the harasser and direct a distracting question to the victim, like pretending to be lost and asking for directions.

To delegate, the bystander should ask a third party for help with intervening in harassment.

To document is as easily whipping out your phone to take a video of the incident.

To delay would be to ask the victim after the event how they are and show support if needed.

Lastly, if you choose to intervene directly, here are some examples of what you can say to the harasser. But first and foremost assess your safety.

Then you can say, "That's inappropriate," "That's homophobic," "That's disrespectful," "That's racist," "That's not okay," "That's harassment," leave them alone, or please stop right now."

"Right to Be" has produced videos of these proven techniques and are available online and even shown in movie theaters across the US.

May emphasized that throughout the years, she was cautious to make sure the words she shares do not escalate the tension and do not seek to exact revenge or even insult the aggressors.

"We're angry or angry about harassment, it's very easy to start to accidentally create harm, to start to accidentally sort of people who do the harassment in a box of not human," May said.

For the private sector to take big steps in doing their part to intervene in a big way, Wells Fargo Senior Diversity & Inclusion Consultant Jerome Flores said their organization takes pride in playing a role in lessening the biased-based harassment and taking steps towards healing communities.

"Maybe just having the tools to be able to intervene or whatever I think helps people and lets them know what they can do rather than just stand around and just shoot a video which was still also helps," Flores said.

For the Asian American community, it's important to constantly and consistently raise awareness on the matter.

"I think what's especially hopeful though, is we've been able to raise awareness to a different level. And so we're able to respond, I think more forcefully together," said Vincent Pan, Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action.

Right to Be's bystander intervention education has proven to be effective in empowering the public to take action.

Some 98.8% of attendees leave workshops feeling like there is at least one thing they can do to help next time they witness harassment, while 76% of attendees who saw harassment after attending a workshop reported that they intervened.

For those who want to learn more, visit