SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Hate crimes against Asian Americans continue to rise across the country, with the latest incident occurring in New York City on Monday. A man brutally attacked a 65-year-old woman, unprovoked, pushing her as she was walking on the sidewalk and stomping on her head multiple times. But what’s also disturbing is the surveillance video that showed employees at a nearby hotel witnessing the entire ordeal without ever stepping in, failing to come to her aid, and then closing the door on her.

So why do some people witness instances of violence, racism, discrimination, mistreatment, prejudice, or inappropriate conduct and then fail to intervene? The answer goes much deeper than the surface. It requires exploration, awareness, and often uncomfortable confrontation of biases, social norms, and everyday barriers that perpetuate harm and prevent community support. But once these concepts are better understood, an individual can then be educated and empowered to prevent further harm from occuring.

Brittany Kiyoko Badger Gleed, Director for Student Wellness at the University of Utah joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen to talk about the training provided to students on campus, called “Check on U-Tah: Building Community Through Bystander Intervention.” She discussed how bystander intervention goes beyond being a “superhero,” how we should reframe and expand on that concept, why it requires practice to implement, what the Step Up Model is, and what the 5 D’s of intervention are.

Irene Ota, who was a Diversity Coordinator and taught diversity and social justice for 20 years before retiring from the University of Utah, discussed Anti-Discrimination Response Training (ART). The program was developed by Dr. Ishu Ishiyama at the University of British Columbia to provide an active witness methodology for prejudice reduction, human resource enhancement, and organization and community development.

Ota is a certified trainer and talked about different concepts in the training such as the Discrimination Triangle, the Four Levels of Witnessing, the Active Witnessing Model, and the 11 Active Witnessing Response Categories. She explained which circumstances the training could be applied to, the benefits and skills that participants gain, and her interpretation of Monday’s incident in New York City.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Gleed and Ota, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.