Evanston Township High School Hosts Hate Speech Forum
In light of the last few years, it is crucial for teachers, staff, and parents to address hate speech, not only in the classroom but in everyday life. There are mentions of hateful diction and bullying due to race, and it’s becoming more and more important to prevent this kind of language within schools.
Before we can address hate speech in the classroom, we have to understand the severity of hate speech and the consequences that follow. Thirty-one hate groups have been identified in Illinois, some of them part of the recent and rapid rise of White nationalist groups in the United States. In 2018, the Southern Poverty Law Center recorded a 50 percent increase in the number of white nationalist groups in the United States.
On October 10th, 2019 Evanston Township High School held a student led forum,“Fighting Hate Speech in the United States,” to educate the public on hate speech and how to work against it. The students of ETHS wanted the forum to be realistic and have a productive dialogue about hate speech, regardless of political affiliation.
Dr. Logan was amongst two other experts, Lecia J. Brooks, Chief Workplace Transformation Officer at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Kelley Szany, Vice President of Education and Exhibitions at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.
As a current resident of Evanston and ETHS alumni, Dr. Logan spoke on local issues and best practices for addressing hate speech in the classroom. His personal and professional experiences as a parent, educator, and consultant within the Evanston community had inspired him to develop the curriculum, “Power, Profile, and Place of the N-Word,” an Educators Curriculum and Resource Guide which tightly aligns with Common Core Standards, social-emotional learning, with a focus on cognitive rigor.
Regarding the proliferation in the use of the N-word, Dr. Logan says we must, “contextualize it, discuss the history behind it, make it a teachable moment. We need to provide contextualization to people, or they will do it themselves. Challenge authority in a respectful manner. It’s not what you say but how you say it. And if you feel uncomfortable about something, that’s a signal. Explore that. Challenge yourself.”
Fighting hate speech cannot be done alone, it’s important to speak up about diversity, inclusion, and equity. While there is no quick fix or remedy for hate speech, the best way to prevent hate speech is through education and critical self-reflection. The more we educate the youth on these issues, we can prevent hate speech in the future.
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