Community partners who have been declaring publicly that Hate Has No Home Here will hold a kick-off event online Saturday morning for the next phase of their campaign.
The kick-off event will take place at 10:30 a.m. on the First Presbyterian Church Facebook livestream and last about a half an hour. Attendees will learn more about an in-person Deliberative Dialogue planned for Oct. 13.
After a welcome from Dr. Catherine Koverola, president of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, speakers will include Vanessa Castano, executive director of the Bradford YWCA, speaking on the campaign’s connection to the YWCA’s mission; Heidi Scrivo Passmore, executive director of the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce, speaking about how the campaign connects to the Chamber’s Bradford Strong ideal; the Rev. Stacey Fussell, president of the Bradford Ministerium, addressing the need to talk across differences; and Dr. Reid Helford, Pitt-Bradford career educator and trained facilitator talking about the Deliberative Dialogue program.
Dr. David Fitz, Pitt-Bradford’s vice president for institutional integration and community engagement and the point person for the campaign, will close out the program.
Hate Has No Home Here is a national movement that identifies places that are free from hateful behavior. The campaign included Hate Has No Home Here signs written in a variety of languages.
It was while delivering yard signs, posters and banners to businesses, community members and agencies that Fitz began thinking of a next step.
“I was talking with people who wanted to bring people together through deliberative dialogues led by articulate, compassionate, caring individuals who have been trained to facilitate these kinds of talks,” he said.
The Oct. 13 Deliberative Dialogue discussion seeking common ground between community members has also moved to First Presbyterian Church. It will be held in person from 6 to 9 p.m. at 54 East Corydon St. Those wishing to participate are asked to sign up in advance or email Dr. David Fitz, vice president of institutional integration and community engagement at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, at email@example.com. Include first and last name in email.
Trained facilitators Helford and Angie Wolfe, Pitt-Bradford director of leadership development, will help participants find common ground during two conversations: “Politics, Can We Talk?” and “Police/Community Relations.” Each participant will have a chance to engage both topics during the event.
The Hate Has No Home Here movement began in a Chicago neighborhood characterized by its diversity of age, race, nationality and ethnicity. Schoolchildren worked with a neighborhood organization to develop a campaign to welcome all people to their community.
Places where the Hate Has No Home Here signs are displayed signify that hateful actions against others will not be tolerated by the person, business or organization displaying the sign.
The kickoff event itself is meant to demonstrate that while it’s OK to disagree with others civilly regarding issues, it is not OK to intimidate or attack a person or group.
Castano said, “Hate Has No Home Here sends a strong message not only about hate, but about love. This sort of initiative can really open doors for a deeper level of communication. We need to really start talking to each other, remembering civility without the worry of verbal attacks and allowing people to express their own understandings and experiences.”
Bradford’s Hate Has No Home Here effort is a joint project of Pitt-Bradford, the Bradford YWCA, the Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce, Bradford Ministerium, Bradford Area Alliance and Bradford Area School District.