Campus organizations host Stand Against Hate Week
Mary Steurer | Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Several campus organizations have joined forces this week to promote tolerance and student well-being with Stand Against Hate Week, an annual awareness week that seeks to both educate about hate and empower individuals to challenge it.
The week is hosted by the Gender Relations Center (GRC) and is co-sponsored by several other campus organizations, including Notre Dame Right to Life and PrismND.
Senior Matthew Connell, vice president of communications for Notre Dame Right to Life, said the groups are partnering for the event with the intent “to stand alongside marginalized populations and just to advocate for their dignity.”
The week will host a series of events aimed to create a dialogue about hate on campus, said senior Devon Harford, president of PrismND.
Each event seeks to help “face hate and to not only work to move past it and to teach people how to move past it,” she said.
The week kicked off Monday with a panel discussion titled “Is Black Lives Matter a Pro-Life Issue?” hosted by Campus Ministry and Right to Life.
Volunteers from the Icarus Project, an organization that aims to promote mental health, visited Tuesday to teach individuals about self-care “through the lens of dealing with traumas,” Harford said.
On Thursday evening, a prayer service will be held at the Grotto in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes those who were murdered for their transgender identities. Harford said the names of transgender individuals who have been killed this year will be read aloud during the service.
“We’re each going to state their names so that they can not only be remembered but still have an individual voice, even after it’s been taken from them,” she said.
Sara Agostinelli, assistant director of LGBTQ student initiatives at the GRC, said the week will come to a close Friday with a banner signing at Fieldhouse Mall.
The intent of the pledge is to allow students to unify under the week’s intention and to show their support for victims of hate, Agostinelli said.
“[The] banner will hang in LaFortune Student Center after Thanksgiving,” she said.
Agostinelli said a central goal of the week is to give individuals strength in the face of intolerance.
“I hope that students gain an opportunity to engage both in self-reflection of their identity but also in conversations with their peers and understanding of how [we are] encouraging people to be their full authentic selves,” she said.
Harford said she hopes Stand Against Hate week will help others become more aware of systematic hate and the means by which it can be resisted.
“Standing up against hate is more than just standing up to people who hate, it’s standing up to hate around you, in your life and in the lives of the people around you,” she said.