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Activating Bystanders to Address Workplace Microaggressions

Activating Bystanders to Address Workplace Microaggressions: Mobilizing Organizational Change

The Activating Bystanders workshop taking place on April 15 & 16 is NOW FULL!!

Email: to learn about upcoming opportunities. Thank you!

Microaggressions: They're a Big Deal graphic with a mosquito.

The workshop will introduce the Get A (Collective) GRIP framework for addressing microaggressions through bystander activation. UML Center for Women & Work’s distinctive framework emphasizes ways that bystander action can foster more positive and inclusive organizational cultures by promoting collective accountability for challenging expressions of workplace bias. Rather than a one-time bystander workshop, the approach underscores the importance of embedding the initiative within an organization. The training will guide participants in the development of a strategic plan for bringing about this significant organizational change.

The Mobilizing for Organizational Change workshop is designed for people who have the capacity and passion to lead bystander efforts within their own organization. Our April workshop is designed for Higher Ed institutions

Workshop Overview

The problems of microaggressions and subtle biases are not new to the workplace, but commitment to taking concerted action to address them has intensified in recent years. Microaggressions are not only harmful on their own, tolerance for them has been shown to predict more egregious and actionable forms of harassment and discrimination. Current events provide a reminder that there is no simple fix; these issues will not be fully addressed by a single workshop nor by tightening the enforcement of policies alone. The most promising approaches to tackling microaggressions are those that proactively seek to create a respectful climate and do so by fully integrating such efforts into the fabric of organizational life. Such an endeavor requires a strategic approach, including the identification of pressing local issues, raising awareness about such issues, and identifying peer leaders who can become “Equity Champions.” Equity Champions are a cornerstone of the Get A (Collective) GRIP approach; they are well respected individuals within the organization with both personal bystander skills and skills to encourage their co-workers to become active bystanders when observing disrespectful workplace behavior. Expanding collective organizational capacity to address bias in respectful ways has been shown to have an empowering impact and to foster more equitable institutional norms, behaviors, and workplace climate. The purpose of this work shop is to provide an in depth overview of our approach and to guide participants in the development of their own strategic plan to implement it and bring about significant organizational change.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Program funded the UMass Lowell Center for Women & Work’s (CWW) Making WAVES (Women Academics Valued and Engaged in STEM) Initiative. The grant supported the development of a distinctive CWW framework, Get A (Collective) GRIP® on microaggressions, that emphasizes the value of bystander action to promote more positive and inclusive organizational cultures.

Date & Time

  • April 15 & 16 from Noon - 4 p.m. EST each day (designed for Higher Ed institutions)


Registration includes two half-days of training.

  • $495 per person
  • Register by April 2 for $70 discount (use discount code BYST$70)
  • $1485 per institution for up to 5 individuals (2 free registrations with 3 full registrations).

Email: for more information on this discount

To gain maximum benefit from the workshop, we suggest that at least 2 people attend from each institution.

Activating Bystanders Online Registration

Workshop Facilitators

Meg A. Bond, Ph.D., is a Distinguished University Professor, Director of the Center for Women & Work, and Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She specializes in the dynamics of workforce diversity and sexual harassment. She served on the U.S. EEOC’s Special Task Force on the Prevention of Harassment in the Workplace that released a comprehensive report in June 2016. She is also the Director of UML’s NSF-funded $3.5 million ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Initiative, called Making WAVES (Women Academics Valued and Engaged in STEM). She has received career awards for mentoring ethnically and racially diverse professionals and for contributions to understanding diversity in community research and action. She has served in national leadership roles with the Society for Community Research and Action, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and the American Psychological Association.

Michelle C. Haynes-Baratz, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a Faculty Associate at the Center for Women & Work. For almost two decades, her research has focused workplace diversity issues, with a particular interest in the obstacles women and people of color experience in the work domain and strategies for overcoming them. She is a Co-PI and the Social Science Research Director for the NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Project at UMass Lowell, Making WAVES - a $3.5 million grant whose goal is to disrupt interpersonal and institutional microaggressions that undermine the productivity and well-being of women STEM Faculty (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). She regularly publishes her work in top academic journals and her research has been cited in popular press outlets including The Atlantic, The Huffington post, Harvard Business Review, The LA Times, NPR and Cosmopolitan.


If you have questions, please email:

Optional ongoing consultation to support implementation after the workshop is available for an additional fee.

This opportunity is organized and hosted by CWW with support from the UMass Lowell Division of Graduate, Online and Professional Studies’ Corporate Education team.