Jesus College launches free course on being an active bystander in a ‘post #MeToo world’

The Global edX course aims to ‘drive change’ and reduce sexual harassment and violence

Jesus College at the University of Cambridge has partnered with the online learning platform edX to launch a pioneering course “How to be an active bystander in a post #MeToo world.”

The course, led by Dr Sarah Steele, Deputy Director of Jesus College’s Intellectual Forum and a Senior Research Associate at Cambridge Public Health, brings together survivors, academics and practitioners to explore the roles individuals play as witnesses to sexual harassment or violence.

Dr Steele, who has previously taught #MeToo and the Law for the Australian National University for several years, and has facilitated the University of Cambridge’s Intervention Initiative said: “Many of us now know poor behaviour when we see it; we’ve talked a lot about sexual harassment and violence in recent years. But how do we respond when we see it? How do we drive change?

“This course gives you tools to think about how you might act. It provides insight into #MeToo as a movement, draws on up-to-date research and evidence on action and inaction, and gives real-world examples to help you respond at work, in public, and even at home.”

Heidi Allen, former MP for South Cambridgeshire added: “What I’ve discovered, both as a private citizen and as a Member of Parliament, is that creating a better society is everyone’s responsibility. It is fantastic that anyone in the world can access this course for free, because we all must play our part.

“Standing up against injustice doesn’t have to be big and dramatic and can look and feel very different for each of us – and this course teaches lots of different tools for action. We can all make a difference.”

As well as teaching skills or options to address inappropriate behaviour, the free online course will help participants stay safe as an active bystander.

The course is open for enrollment on the edX page and will focus on the following areas:

  • Why the #MeToo movement and associated movements rose to prominence;
  • About gender-based violence, discrimination, and sexual harassment around the world;
  • The role of culture, alongside institutions, in driving poor behaviour and violence;
  • The role of individuals and groups in addressing sexual harassment and violence;
  • What options there are to be active bystanders in preventing sexual harassment and violence;
  • What to do when you see poor behaviour in the workplace, at home or elsewhere; and
  • How to stay safe as an active bystander.

The course is free and available to take on Jesus College’s edX page.

Feature image credits: Matilda Head