Empowering bystanders to make a difference

TAB empowers bystanders and gives them the competencies they need if they decide to take action when they witness something they feel is unfair, or wrong, or troubling. TAB helps participants to:

  • analyze situations where harm may be occurring
  • recognize when they are bystanders
  • evaluate the consequences for everyone involved
  • interrupt harm doing and generate positive actions by others
Group of people, standing in front of the room in a semi circle

TAB was developed in 2006 by Quabbin Mediation of Orange, MA. TAB has become the work of many thousands of people in the Massachusetts’ North Quabbin area and beyond. Quabbin Mediation is deeply grateful to all those volunteers who have given so much of themselves to make the program a success.

Diverse partners; great results

Quabbin Mediation has engaged myriad partners keen to design and build a practical program responsive to the region’s rural-small town needs but applicable in virtually any setting. TAB has proven quite versatile. In addition to its use in public schools in Massachusetts and New England for students and educators, it has been well received in settings such as an East Los Angeles high school, GLSEN-MA youth conferences (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), a school for exceptionally high needs youth, summer camps, MIT and Mt. Holyoke College, and the Lifers’ Group at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Norfolk.

Group of young adults in church in a semi circle configuration.
Vital allies from the beginning were the Athol-Royalston Regional School District, the Athol Police Department, Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District, and the Orange Police Department. We have trained over a thousand student TAB trainers and hundreds of community adults trainers who have taught over ten thousand youth and adults to analyze a situation when they are bystanders to harm and to safely take action. The original version of the Training Active Bystanders curriculum was created and first used in collaboration between Quabbin Mediation, Inc. and Professor Ervin Staub in 2006-2007 and is based in significant part on his work.
"TAB has changed my thinking about being a bystander because it has shown me how important it is. I have learned how to properly intervene in a situation and when it is safe to. When it's not I know that I’m still able to be an active bystander."

Find out more about the history and mission of Quabbin Mediation & Training Active Bystanders