n. A person who takes action, particularly when the easiest or most acceptable course is to do nothing.
I had to do something because I feel that there is no place in my hometown of Houston for unchallenged haters," Bleiweiss said. "This group has taken on a life of its own, and it has become time consuming for me, but I would rather be an ‘upstander,' and do something about the hatred, than be a bystander.
—Arlene Nisson Lassin, “Taking matters into his own hands,” The Houston Chronicle, November 06, 2009
The examples of local "upstanders" (as opposed to bystanders) lead to exhibits that explore larger, history-making conflicts and the consequences of the action, or inaction, that followed. The result is a powerful, 90-minute tour of what it means to be a positive member of a multicultural society.
—Robert L. Smith, “Exhibit on diversity shows there's work to do: Global Village,” Plain Dealer, October 22, 2009
2002 (earliest)
What's so extraordinary about a century of bystanding is the extent to which there have been upstanders, whether it's Henry Morgenthau, the US ambassador in Constantinople back in 1915, simply trying to get permission from the Wilson administration to condemn the Turks for what they were doing to the Armenians, or whether it's the State Department dissenter—Scott, you'll remember—from the 1990s who resigned to protest the Bush administration and then the Clinton administration policy.
—Samantha Power, “Samantha Power and Elizabeth Neuffer discuss the world's views on genocide in modern times,” National Public Radio, May 25, 2002
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