Upstander Project


The Upstander Project produced DAWNLAND. The filmmaking and educational collaborative was created in Boston, Massachusetts in 2009 is to challenge indifference to injustice and raise awareness of the need for upstanders, especially among teachers and their students. We help bystanders learn the skills of upstanders and contribute to action-oriented campaigns in response to vital social issues.

The Upstander Project’s flagship program presented with the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut is the Upstander Academy. The Upstander Academy is an inquiry-based professional development opportunity for secondary educators with a focus on genocide and human rights education to foster upstanding and address complex historical and current issues. The Academy is six days (Sunday through Friday) and is based at the University of Connecticut-Storrs. Additionally, Academy participants will spend time on sacred Tribal lands, including the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, home of our principal partner.

Since 2009 we have used documentary film, teacher professional development, and interactive educator resources to teach about colonialism and genocide and address how we deal with difference in our society. Our first project is anchored by COEXIST (broadcast in April 2014 on PBS World Channel) and its extensive Teacher’s Guide. The film examines Rwanda’s unprecedented social experiment in government-mandated reconciliation through the stories of survivors and perpetrators of the 1994 genocide.

Learn more about Upstander Project teacher workshops and learning resources on the Upstander Project website.