Monday, April 15 was the start of Millersville University’s Silencing the Hate Week, a week dedicated to making everyone aware of hate crimes and how they can be prevented. A number of events will be going on until Friday, April 19, which is also the Day of Silence, a day to raise awareness of LBGT bullying.
The week began with opening ceremonies on Monday, which lasted from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. An organization fair was held in the Multipurpose Room in the Student Memorial Center with information booths and chances to win prizes. Outside of the Student Memorial Center, white T-shirts were handed out to support Silencing the Hate, to be worn on Friday.
There were a number of organizations on campus who were very eager to get involved with Silencing the Hate Week. One of these groups was Millersville’s Society of Latino Americans, or SOLA.
“We wanted to get involved to bring support,” stated SOLA member Yatzi Garcia. “Silencing the Hate Week ties in really well with Latino affairs, and it is our goal to prevent stereotypes and break barriers.”
SOLA raised awareness to stereotyping by hosting two events on Tuesday, which included a T-shirt making table held at the SMC Atrium from 3 to 4 p.m. and a discussion on stereotyping held in SMC Room 18 from 9:15 to 10:30. “There are many stereotypes in the world students need to be aware of,” Garcia indicated.
With SOLA’s T-shirt making event, students were made aware of the many stereotypes in the world, knowing that people can be stereotyped based on their gender, race, sexual orientation and more. On the front of each T-shirt, a student would write any kind of truth. On the back, they wrote a stereotype.
“The goal of our organization is to bring diversity and to get involved. Our organization is very diverse, there are many African-Americans and Caucasians that are members,” Garcia said, “Stereotypes can affect everyone and we wanted to make that apparent this week.”
Along with stereotyping, there are many other issues that Silencing the Hate Week will be focusing on, though the main point of Silencing the Hate Week focuses on is bullying and hate crimes. Bullying is not just something that happens at school. Bullying can affect everyone and can be considered a hate crime.
The goal of this week is to raise awareness of all the hate crimes going on in society, and what students can do to try to prevent it so everyone is treated equally, regardless of one’s race, gender, class or sexual orientation.
There are many events taking place this week, including a presentation of the play “8” at the Ware Center, a Domestic Violence Simulation, a rally for LGBT rights in Uganda, a Poverty Simulation and a presentation of the film “Bully.”
If you would like to take part of Silencing the Hate and raise awareness, there are many events going on through the week and Friday you can attend as this week comes to a close. Some events that are occurring Tuesday include a Denim Day at the SMC table next to the Juice Bar with the Empower Peer Educations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The EPEs are also hosting the second annual Strong Ladies United Together (S.L.U.T.) Walk occurring from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the SMC Promenade. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Biology Club will present a screening of “Temple Gardin” with a brief discussion on autism in Club DeVille and from 9:15 to 10:30, the Black Student Union will be holding a discussion on self hate in the SMC MPR.
Friday is closing day and the National Day of Silence. Wear your white T-shirt and any other clothes you don’t mind getting stained and take part in the Break the Silence Color Fight hosted by the Graduate Social Work Organization at 3:30 p.m. at the SMC Promenade. The Annual Human Rights and Diversity March, also hosted by GSA, will start at 4, and will start at the SMC MPR.
And to close the week, Kyle Allums, an African American transgender athlete, will hold a closing speech with the Silencing the Hate Planning Committee from 5 to 7 p.m.
Don’t miss out on these great and informational events occurring the next two days. Come on out and bring your support!