An “upstander” is a person who has chosen to make a difference in the world by speaking out against injustice and creating positive change. The term, coined by diplomat Samantha Power and popularized by Facing History and Ourselves, has now been recognized an official word in the English language. Columnist Ben Zimmer, who pens a weekly column "Word on the Street" for the Wall Street Journal wrote about the news that "upstander" will be added to Oxford Dictionaries. The two students behind the bill, Sarah Decker and Monica Mahal began their petition in their Watchung Hills Regional High School Facing History class more than three years ago.
"Ms. Mahal and Ms. Decker decided to become upstanders for “upstander,”" Zimmer wrote. "They organized a petition on Change.org, a website specializing in such campaigns, to ask MerriamWebster and Oxford University Press to include the word in their dictionaries."
Read the full story, "How High-School Girls Won a Campaign for ‘Upstander,’" in the Wall Street Journal (please note, WSJ requires a login).