'State of Hate and Extremism in the U.S.' workshop to tackle issues of poverty and hate crimes

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'State of Hate and Extremism in the U.S.' workshop to tackle issues of poverty and hate crimes


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Student Association will host a “State of Hate and Extremism in the U.S.” workshop to educate students on poverty and hate crimes in the United States.

The workshop -- from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, in Room 223 in Hodge Hall of the Kelley School of Business, 1309 E. 10th St. in Bloomington -- will be facilitated by Lecia Brooks, director of outreach at the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization based in Montgomery, Ala., that works to monitor and advocate against hate and extremist activity in the United States.

The workshop will be a part of Culture of Care Week, put on by the IU Student Association Culture of Care initiative in line with the “Respect” focus area. The IU Student Association Diversity and Inclusion Office works to bring together groups and organizations across the IU Bloomington campuses that normally do not engage each other, generating discussions that contribute to the inclusiveness of the IU community. The events are free and open to the public.

We have organized this event, along with several university culture centers and departments, in order to promote the civil rights traditions of community organizing and advocacy,” said Leighton Johnson, student association chief of diversity and inclusion and lead student organizer for the event.

“Poverty is a serious and chronic problem in the United States and other world communities, and the suffering it produces should be an issue that concerns all people, without any application of ideology based in race, class, orientation or otherwise,” said Valerie Grim, chair of the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“The struggle against poverty is humane work, and it requires all us to step outside of our communities of comfort,” Grim said. “Therefore, it is important that many people come out and engage in this dialogue.”

“The goal is for students of all backgrounds to come away from this event understanding how to better advocate for the acceptance and inclusion of all cultures as we look to move the campus forward.” Johnson added.

Brooks will educate students about the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the issues of hate crimes from both historical and contemporary lenses. She will help participants raise questions about the influence of poverty and inequities in society, while also analyzing the impacts of hate crimes in the United States.

“The SPLC is hard at work,” Brooks said during recent remarks at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in California. “But are we there yet? We’ve been doing what we’ve been doing since 1971, but have we realized the dream yet? No.”

The event is co-sponsored by the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Undergraduate Student Policy Program, the Law and Public Policy Program, CommUNITY Education Program, GLBT Student Support Center and several units within the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, including the Asian Culture Center, La Casa/Latino Cultural Center, the Office of Diversity Education, and the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.

For more information about the workshop or to become involved with upcoming projects, contact Leighton Johnson at leijohns@indiana.edu.

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