How to be an upstander

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When so much feels out of control in the world, one thing is certain – there will always be ordinary people among us who rise to help our community and shape the future of humanity. Upstanders are individuals who stand up for others and their rights. They fight against injustice and unfairness, and they use their character strengths to inspire action and become the best of humanity today.

Anyone can be an upstander, and now is the time to be one. So, how can you be an upstander?

Learn from history.

At the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center, we believe that we can use the lessons of history to inspire action today. Our museum at Union Terminal incorporates media, artifacts, art, and interactive exhibitions to share this history and its lessons. It also includes the Humanity Gallery where visitors explore moments, meeting individuals who activated their character strengths to become upstanders and bring change to our community and world. Plan FOR YOUR VISIT TODAY. If you’re not local to Cincinnati, tune into our weekly HOLOCAUST SPEAKER SERIES on Zoom.

Use your character strengths to make a difference.

In this unique time, take the VIA Character Strengths survey to determine what your top character strengths are and how you can leverage them to address challenges and make a difference. CLICK HERE to take the survey.

Give back in your community.

EVERYONE HAS A “WHY” – an issue that you care deeply about or a reason that motivates us to create a better future. Those reasons drive some people to become upstanders even when it isn’t easy. It could be family, education, health care or hunger – all critically important issues to focus on. Kick Lee, the founder of Cincinnati Music Accelerator, is featured as an upstander in our Humanity Gallery at Union Terminal – and now in our citywide mural campaign that you’ll see in neighborhoods like Pleasant Ridge, Avondale and Clifton. Growing up in the foster-care system, Kick used his love of music and his creativity to persevere. He said his “why” right now is his mission to help end the struggle of starving artists while making Cincinnati a top music city.

Being an upstander looks different for everyone –  and it’ll look different for you from moment to moment. You can be an upstander by volunteering at a local nonprofit. You can be an upstander by picking up trash at a local park or simply by saying a kind word to someone who could use a friend today. Need some inspiration? MEET THE 2022 UPSTANDER AWARD WINNERS

Engage with the Cincy Upstander Project.

Through generous funding from the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation and creative support from the AGAR agency, the Cincy Upstander Project aims to inspire our community to become upstanders through a city-wide art campaign, monthly programs, museum tours, and training opportunities. EXPLORE THE CINCY UPSTANDER PROJECT now.


The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center exists to ensure the lessons of the Holocaust inspire action today. Located at Cincinnati’s historic Union Terminal, HHC educates more than 200,000 community members through its educational initiatives, innovative digital and in-person programs, virtual tours and partnerships. For more information, visit WWW.HOLOCAUSTANDHUMANITY.ORG.