Bears That CARE (BTC) is an active bystander initiative to make our campus safer. Through interactive workshops about bystander intervention, BTC educates and empowers individuals to effectively and safely intervene in potentially harmful or violent situations. We strive to create a community of care.
Our staff is comprised of peer educators and staff facilitators. Peer educators provide workshops to student groups across campus and actively promote violence prevention through a variety of programs, while staff facilitators lead workshops for academic and student affairs departments.
All our workshops incorporate bystander intervention and community engagement.
You can become part of the solution in making the Berkeley community safer and more inclusive for everyone. Bystander intervention is a great tool and has the power to transform our campus.
Ready to be a leader? Excited about making change? Here’s how you can take action:
- Request a Bears That CARE workshop for your club/organization/department/community
- Learn the CARE Model
- Follow us on Facebook and Instagram
- CARE Model
The CARE Model equips you with strategies for taking action. Depending on the situation at hand and your personal style for intervening, there is always an option for taking action while keeping yourself safe.
Here are some examples of ways to use the CARE Model to help others:
- Confront the Situation: Calling out a friend for a microaggression, “Hey, what you said was harmful because X”
- Alert Others: Talking to the party host about a student who passed out, “I’m worried about this person who passed out, can you check on them to see if they are alright?”
- Redirect Attention: Seeing an argument between a couple get heated and coming up with an excuse to separate them. “Hey! So and so is looking for you! Want to come with me and help find them together?”
- Engage After: Checking in on a peer who was harassed. “Hey, what they said was not cool. I wanted to reach out and see how you are feeling, how can I support you?”
- Bystander Intervention Basics
Together we can prevent violence and harm by being active bystanders who care for one another. Being an active bystander means that you TAKE ACTION when you see a situation that could be potentially harmful. Every step counts no matter how small you think it is.
Here are the steps to safely intervening to help others:
- Recognize the Situation: Recognition is key. This requires prior awareness of social identities and microaggressions, what consent does and doesn’t look like, when someone has had too much to drink, signs that someone is experiencing a decline in their mental health, and other important information we go over in each of our workshops.
- Decide to Take Action: Most likely, other witnesses may not have the tools to intervene or are worried to do so. Taking action takes a lot of courage and can empower others to help! Ask yourself: if not me, then who?
- Intervene Effectively and Follow up Appropriately: Choose one of the CARE intervention tools that work best for the situation and keep in mind that your safety is your top priority. If possible, check-in with the affected people after and share resources and options with them.
- Student Staff
Meet the Staff
Bears that CARE is a program of the Office of the Dean of Students in the Division of Student Affairs. In addition to working closely with partners across campus, BTC has a dedicated team of peer educators. Get to know more about the staff by reading their bios below.
Student Staff Coordinator: Sydney Abelson (she/her)
Sydney is a 4th year Microbial Biology major
She wanted to join BTC because she wanted to make a difference on campus and help promote a community of care here at Berkeley. She believes in active bystander intervention and wants to share more about this topic as well as how to apply it to consent, alcohol intervention, mental health, and more. The more we share and talk about bystander intervention the easier it is to apply to our daily lives and make us all safer.
Outside BTC, she is also a Research Assistant in the Koskella Lab, Co-President of TASSEL at Berkeley, and a volunteer for the Golden Gate Science Olympiad Invitational. Sydney’s hobbies include horseback riding, listening to music, going to the movies, and getting boba!
Communications Coordinator: Cynna McAllister (she/her)
Cynna is a 4th year Molecular Cellular Biology Neurobiology and Psychology major
She loves BTC because it allows her to have an active role in educating and supporting the Cal community. One of her goals is to make campus a safe and comfortable place for all students!
Outside of BTC, she is also involved in Sigma Kappa, Kappa Gamma Delta, the Wilbrecht lab, and previously: AMWA, BHI, TASSEL. Cynna’s hobbies include crafting, exploring the city, shopping, and spending time with friends and family!
Communications Coordinator: Melissa Cabana (she/her)
Melissa is a 3rd year Public Health major
She wanted to join BTC because she believes that violence prevention and prevention education is an important part of public health, especially to the UC Berkeley campus, so she wanted to be more involved in that role!
Outside of BTC, she is also the Minorities in Health Coordinator for the Pilipino Association for Health Careers (PAHC) and is an intern at the Women’s Cancer Resource Center. Melissa’s hobbies include traveling, hiking, music, running, and writing!
Outreach Coordinator: Alina Huang (she/her)
Alina is a 2nd year undergraduate student studying Public Health
She wanted to join BTC because she really liked the message BTC stands for and she wanted to be a part of the solution. She wanted to continue her advocacy work at BTC because she believes that educating others and herself about violence prevention is essential to creating a safer community.
Outside of BTC, she is also involved in the Field Study Internship and is a Medical Scribe. Alina’s hobbies include baking, hiking, and thrifting!
Outreach Coordinator: Mariana Mier (she/her)
Mariana is a 2nd year Psychology major
She wanted to join BTC because she feels like she is creating a positive change on campus. Educating others on how to be an active bystander so that we can prevent violence is something that Mariana is really passionate about, and BTC allows her to do that.
Workshop Coordinator: Rebecca Quinonez (she/her)
Rebecca is a 4th year student, majoring in Political Science
She joined BTC because a crucial way to mitigate violence is through the spread of violence prevention education. She believes that everyone has an important and much needed part to play in making our communities safer and she loves that BTC offers an avenue for students to do just that.
Outside of BTC, she is also a mentor with the Sage Mentorship Project! Go Sage! Rebecca’s hobbies include drawing, beading, nature walks, and poetry.
Questions? Contact Us