UB conference to address how bystanders can stand up to bullying, harassment and assault

Public welcome to attend free special event hosted by actor Jason Drucker, star of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” and “Bumblebee”

Release Date: September 28, 2021

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Portrait of Amanda Nickerson.
“This conference is designed to address timely and important issues of how bystanders who see and hear bullying, harassment and social injustices can make a difference. ”
Amanda Nickerson, director of the UB Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention and professor of counseling, school and educational psychology in the UB Graduate School of Education

BUFFALO, N.Y. – What should you do when you witness bullying or harassment? The University at Buffalo Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention will explore what actions you may take and more during its 10th annual conference, themed “Bystander Intervention: Preventing Violence and Interrupting Social Injustices.”

The conference, to be held virtually this year, will focus on creating environments that promote bystander intervention among youth and young adults to curb bullying, harassment, racial microaggressions, sexual assault and related behaviors. 

The event, open to faculty, students, professionals and community members, is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 4, from 1-5 p.m., via Zoom. Registration is $10 for all attendees. Guests may register online

Each year, the conference attracts hundreds of national and local educators, social workers, counselors, law enforcement officials, parents and others who work with and counsel young people. Licensed social workers, psychologists and mental health counselors are eligible to receive three continuing education credits through participation. The event is also approved by the National Association of School Psychologists to provide continuing professional development credits. 

“This conference is designed to address timely and important issues of how bystanders who see and hear bullying, harassment and social injustices can make a difference,” says Amanda Nickerson, PhD, director of the UB Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention and professor of counseling, school and educational psychology in the UB Graduate School of Education.

“We anticipate this will appeal to a broad audience who work with youth in K-12 and young adults at colleges and universities, as well as professionals who work in community settings,” she says.

Breakdown of the breakouts

The keynote, to be delivered by Victoria Banyard, PhD, professor and associate dean for faculty development at the Rutgers University School of Social Work, will reveal what factors motivate or discourage people to intervene and prevent violence, as well as what consequences they experience when they get involved. 

Attendees may choose from four breakout sessions, which include:

  • “NAB IT! (Norms and Bystander Intervention Training) to Reduce Bullying and Sexual Harassment in High School,” by Amanda Nickerson, PhD, director of the UB Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention and professor of counseling, school and educational psychology in the UB Graduate School of Education.
  • “Applying Bystander Intervention Theory to Racial Microaggressions,” by Lyndsay Jenkins, PhD, associate professor, and Laura Reid Marks, PhD, assistant professor, both at Florida State University.
  • “Using Motivational Interviewing and Bystander Intervention to Prevent Sexual Assault in High-Risk Drinking Situations in Colleges and Universities,” by Jennifer Livingston, PhD, associate professor in the UB School of Nursing; and Jennifer Read, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences. 
  • “The STAC Intervention: Teaching Elementary and Middle School Students Strategies for Acting as ‘Defenders’ in Bullying Situations,” by Aida Midgett, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Counselor Education at Boise State University.

The UB Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention has also partnered with nonprofit Free2Luv to host a Youth Empowerment Panel moderated by actor Jason Drucker, star of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul” and “Bumblebee.” The special event is scheduled at 4:15 p.m., and is free and open to the public. Guests who have not signed up for the conference may register for this event separately

Founded in 2010, but officially opened in 2011, the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention is celebrating 10 years of research, education and outreach. The center is dedicated to reducing bullying abuse in schools and in the community by contributing knowledge and providing evidence-based tools to change the language, attitudes and behaviors of educators, parents, students and society.

More information on the conference can be found on the UB Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention website.

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