North Central College observes its annual Anti-Hate Week, Oct. 1-5. Started by students in 1998, Anti-Hate Week is a week-long campaign designed to educate and raise awareness about various forms of oppression and discrimination.
“Students are key in the organization of the week,” says Dorothy Pleas, North Central’s director of multicultural affairs. “From the student groups NCC Thinks and OUTreach that organize activities and lobbied to bring our keynote speaker to campus to those who are creating the Tunnel of Oppression, our students are dedicated to raising awareness about social justice issues.”
The lineup of free activities includes:
Monday, Oct. 1, Wall of Hate
Outside Kaufman Dining Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m., students are invited to write on the wall any derogatory words that have been said to them and to others close to them. NCC Thinks, a student movement that addresses derogatory terms used in today’s society and raises awareness about their negative effects, is sponsoring the Wall of Hate and encourages students to sign a pledge.
Tuesday, Oct. 2, Keynote Speaker
In the Harold and Eva White Activities Center, second floor, at 7 p.m., Alex Sanchez (photo, left) will keynote the week. A renowned young adult author of the “Rainbow Boys” trilogy of teen novels, Sanchez will talk about his personal experiences growing up as a gay Mexican immigrant. He will also discuss how homophobia hurts everyone and how he came to write the books that enabled him to break down barriers in life.
Wednesday, Oct. 3, Tunnel of Oppression
In the Harold and Eva White Activities Center, second floor, from 4 to 8 p.m., students are invited to experience the Tunnel of Oppression. A multimedia tour, the Tunnel experience involves a 20-minute walk through a series of rooms designed to raise awareness and challenge peoples’ ideas and perceptions related to oppression in our world and communities.
Friday, Oct. 5, Open Mic Night
At The Union, 129 W. Benton Ave., at 7 p.m., Open Mic Night closes out the week’s activities with student presentations that address discrimination and oppression. A transformed Wall of Hate also will be unveiled. The Office of Ministry and Service will co-host this event.
For more information contact Dorothy Pleas, North Central College’s director of multicultural affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 637-5156.
Previous keynote speakers have included syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts; Judy Shepard, whose son was murdered while a university student; Holocaust survivor Benjamin Jacobs; Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi; Barbara Martinez Jitner, award-winning Latina writer and director; Elizabeth Birch, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign; Sherialyn Byrdsong, widow of slain Northwestern University coach Ricky Byrdsong; film director Mike Ramsdell; and Stan Pearson.