As racial tensions continue to rise and issues of civil rights and tolerance grow ever more important in the wake of a historic presidential election, students at North Central College are taking action to discuss these matters in a healthy, constructive way.
The annual Anti-Hate Week, hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, will take place at the College from October 26-30, with a series of events and gatherings meant to increase understanding among the North Central community.
In consideration of health concerns due to COVID-19, this year’s Anti-Hate Week will be almost entirely virtual, featuring a podcast-style discussion on protesting led by North Central students, anti-racism and microaggression prevention training done over Zoom, a Black student support group about self-care on Microsoft Teams, and a video call movie screening hosted by the Muslim Student Association.
The Center for Social Impact will play a big role in Anti-Hate Week, launching their new #ChooseEmpathy Instagram campaign and hosting an in-person, socially distanced session on self-care for activists.
Anti-Hate Week is a tradition going back to February 1999 started by the Student Governing Association, then known as the Student Governing Board (SGB). The inaugural event featured a seminar with faculty on hate speech, a screening of the Spike Lee film “4 Little Girls,” and a candlelight vigil and open mic night. Students also sold Anti-Hate Week T-shirts during the week that were worn on the Friday at the end of the event.
Concerns about attendance in the first year led to changing the date for the second Anti-Hate Week to the 1999 fall term, where it has stayed since. At that time, the SGB’s chair of multicultural committee Ryan Conley ’02 was quoted in North Central’s student newspaper The Chronicle saying, “Anti-Hate Week is designed to give students at NCC the opportunity to support the diverse environment on campus. Hate comes from fear. People always tend to fear something that they have never explored before. Anti-Hate Week will give students … a chance to interact with people and learn from each other."
The nature of the events offered during Anti-Hate Week has remained consistent for more than two decades, with a focus on sharing and listening to stories from those who have experienced discrimination as well as engagement with contemporary film as a way to explore how oppression is represented in our culture. This year, racially motivated violent crimes, protests and political arguments have shifted the focus slightly. Anti-Hate Week events will emphasize support for those who have suffered hate and continue to do so, along with increased awareness to prevent discrimination by those who may not even realize they’re doing it.
For more information about Anti-Hate Week, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs by email at email@example.com, search for them on the Presence app, or follow them on Instagram @ncc_oma. You can find links for all the virtual Anti-Hate Week events on their link tree.