(up’stan’der) n.

An Upstander embraces the challenge to speak out, do the right thing, and make decisions that help create positive change in our world. They make a conscious choice to step in instead of stand by. Some of their acts are big and some are little, but none are too small to deserve attention.

The best educators teach us how to see the world from multiple perspectives. They challenge us when we think simplistically while simultaneously honoring and respecting our ideas. They create environments, both around us and within us, that help us learn to stand up against injustice and take responsibility for each other. These teachers, administrators, coaches, and mentors are Upstanders, and Facing History and Ourselves wants to help you honor each and every one who has touched your life and given you the tools to become an Upstander yourself.

Who changed your assumptions about the world for the better? Who helped you examine your own mind and heart and gave you the courage to challenge your own convictions and/or the attitudes expressed in your community? Celebrate the Upstanders who have taught you by nominating them in Facing History's contest.