Bystander Video Competition

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Spring 2015 Bystander Video Competition
Open for Submission

Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2015 at 11:59pm

To MIT students, postdocs, staff, and faculty,

Have you ever found yourself in an uncomfortable social situation, where perhaps there were micro-agressions or disrespectful behavior? Did you wish there had been a different ending to that situation? Now is the time to make that alternative reality come true with video.

Create a 3-5 minute video showing the situation and alternative endings.

Competition Description:

At the 2015 Institute Diversity Summit, a video from The Sloan active bystander video series was featured. It provided an excellent model for scaling up what can be a difficult conversation around diversity and inclusion to all of MIT. That video series is well received by Sloan members because the actors are Sloan faculty, staff and students, and the scenarios are relevant; thus Sloan community members are motivated to implement the ideas presented in these videos.

Members of the MIT community, with certificates, may view the current Bystander Video Collection at

Following this model, I am organizing a MIT-wide Bystander Intervention Video Competition, calling upon community members to produce and record their own short (3 to 5 minute) skits using readily available technology and then to submit their video to the competition by using the form at the bottom of this page.

Some of these video entries will be used in campus-wide educational materials, similarly to the use of the complaint-handler video series during the 1993-94 academic year. However, the new videos will be much shorter and collectively will have much broader scope than those of 20 years ago.

The Bystander Intervention Video Competition is a part of an institute-wide campaign to educate all community members in the use of bystander interventions and micro-affirmations to reduce micro-inequities, micro-aggressions, and all forms of misconduct.

To be eligible for the competition,

  • The majority of team members producing and starring in a video must be MIT students, postdocs, staff or faculty.
  • The video must illustrate a micro-inequity or micro-aggression (i.e., a micro-inequity perceived as bigotry) or a real or potential violation of MIT’s policies (harassment, sexual misconduct, academic and research misconduct, substance abuse, hazing, discrimination, safety, conflicts of interest, etc.)
  • The video must also illustrate positive interventions taken by bystanders such as micro-affirmations – “apparently small acts, which are often ephemeral and hard-to-see, events that are public and private, often unconscious but very effective, which occur wherever people wish to help others to succeed.” Producers are encouraged to divide their skit into several scenes illustrating alternative forms of bystander intervention.
  • Follow the MIT guidelines for copyright of materials and permissions from people in the video at Post your video at YouTube or similar video server.
  • We will ask for your assistance in captioning the winning videos.

Videos may be submitted at any time prior to May 1, 2015 by filling out the form below. Starting this spring 2015 term, each year, three winning entries will be selected and featured at the MIT Diversity website,

Entries are sought from student and staff groups, from collaborative teams in individual DLCs, and from other combinations of community members who wish to portray ways we can advance a respectful and caring community.

Deadline: Friday, May 1st, 11:59pm


  • 1st prize – $1000
  • 2nd prize – $750
  • 3rd prize – $500

Selection Committee & Judges

  • Nicholas (Nick) Davis, ICEO Graduate Community Fellow
  • Julian S. Green, Program Director – Institute Community and Equity Office
  • Alyce Johnson, HR Manager of Staff Diversity and Inclusion
  • Jia-Hui Lee, ICEO Graduate Community Fellow
  • Elizabeth (Libby) Mahaffy, Assistant Director for Conflict Management
  • Kate McCarthy, Director of Violence Prevention and Response (MIT Medical)
  • Jason McKnight, Assistant Dean for Graduate Personal Support
  • Mary Rowe, Adjunct Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Management, Sloan School of Management
  • JoAnne Yates, Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management