SJ Quinney College of Law, University of Utah
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Authors

Martha Minow

Abstract

Communities of responsibility and the cultures that nurture them take many steps to build. An important step is to honor remarkable individuals with courage and commitment. Raphael Lemkin, Benjamin Ferencz, Luis Moreno Ocampo, Emmanuel Uwurukundo, Samantha Power, filmmaker Edet Belzberg, and Victor Koningsberger deserve recognition and honor. At the same time, we need to emphasize that an upstander does not need extraordinary qualities. Ordinary people can and do stand up in small and big ways against oppression and injustice. Education can help. Speeches can help. When we honor heroes, we should not simply recognize individual courage. Doing so can help to constitute a community around the value of standing up. Joining with others to make it more possible for each next act of upstanding can help even more. Pushing to construct peer cultures of upstanding, reducing fears of speaking out against bullying and discrimination, preparing people to recognize and combat denial, rationalization, and feeling overwhelmed, and building social networks of mutual aid and support, will help us all be upstanders and help us rescue the humanity of others and of ourselves.