Give Support


We acknowledge that not everyone is obliged to confront racism due to fear however it is crucial to be an ally. If you witness someone experiencing racism or racial intimidation, the best way to intervene is to approach the person being victimized and engage them in conversation. Stay close to them and ask them if they need support or what kind of support you can give them. Stay with them until the person threatening them goes away. If the individual does not back away, you may consider accompanying the person being targeted to a safer location and stay with them until they let you know that they are ok.  If the person being targeted is at risk of danger, call 911. Seek support from others.

Contact authorities

If physical attack is involved, direct intervention isn’t advised. Your own safety should be your priority. Don’t engage in physical altercation. Contact authorities. Some suggest that distracting the attacker by making noise and getting attention of other bystanders and witnesses may help. Record the incident and make note about the attacker to be able to identify them later. Don’t share your recording of the incident on social media without the permission of the victim.


If you're in a social setting and someone says something racist, consider saying to them that what they said wasn't okay and unacceptable. This sends a strong message that what they said would not be tolerated. If someone makes a racist joke, you may try asking them to explain the joke by asking why it was funny. Making someone explain why the joke is funny challenges the intended impact of the joke. When they explain, you can let them know that what they said was racist.

Diverse hands up

Take action

In situations where you notice someone experiencing covert racism i.e. being passed over for promotions at work or receiving unequal service in a restaurant, you should consider taking action. You may consider asking the individual being mistreated if it's ok if you spoke up. They may decline and that's ok. They may decide that they don't feel safe enough to manage the backlash that may ensue if action is taken. If they accept your support, consider taking action by using your position to help challenge the racist act.

Next Steps...

Ask the victim to Contact HARRC at 905-297-4694 EXT 203.