Alka's Angle January 14, 2022

Dear Broadway Family,

I attended a ‘De-escalation Training’ this week through ONE Northside, offered by Hollaback, a global movement working towards ending harassment in any form it presents itself (one more way we can live out our baptismal vow to resist injustice), and training folk around the globe to feel empowered to intervene in a way that does not put themselves at risk.


Studies show that in more than 70% cases, harassment can be stopped if someone intervenes but only about 20% of the time someone actually intervenes. Hollaback works towards transforming the culture that perpetuates hate and harrassment.


We all have either experienced harassment, know someone who has or have witnessed it happening around us. And, most of the time we either freeze, because we don’t really know what to do. You can visit to learn more about the bystander resources and more. This week, I learned of the 5 D’s that we can use to de-escalate the situation:


  • Distract -- take an indirect approach by starting a conversation with the person being harassed, drop something, stand in between while asking something of the person harassing etc.,
  • Delegate -- find someone in authority and tell them what you witnessed,
  • Document -- start recording the incidence (remember the George Floyd case and the bystander video that brought attention to it),
  • Delay -- even if we are unable to act in the moment- to check if we can sit with them, walk them somewhere etc., or
  • Direct -- assessing your safety first, directly address the person who is harassing.                                                                 


Beloveds, if we desire for the culture of our communities to change, then we all need to do our part to make it so. We all can do something -- the simplest thing we can do is to let the people know they are not alone. They are valued and they are seen and what happened to them is not OK. As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The time is always right to do what is right." And to celebrate his legacy, we will gather on Monday, January 17th at 6:30pm on Zoom. More instructions will be given but feel free to bring your favorite quote, a story to share or to just join in the celebration.

Also remember we are still collecting new and gently used items for babies and children- diapers, wipes, onesies, PJ’s, socks etc. at church, for Refugee ONE, and “Cradles to Crayons.” You can drop your donations at church or access Cradles to Crayons Amazon wish list here.

Friends, let us not shy away from intervening when we see someone being treated unfairly, and let us resolve to do all we can to make this world a better place, not just for us but also for the generations that come after us. Please stay safe and take good care of yourself. I will see you in worship.