SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies will present the “Eva Lassman: Take Action Against Hate Award, Individual” to Gonzaga University Associate Academic Vice President Raymond Reyes, Ph.D., a founding member of the Institute, at the Take Action Against Hate Annual Banquet, Tuesday, Oct. 12 in Gonzaga’s Cataldo Hall Globe Room.
The Institute will present a new award this year at the banquet, the “Eva Lassman: Take Action Against Hate Award, Organization,” which will be presented to the Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for its work challenging hate and educating the community about social justice. Ken Stern, an expert on anti-Semitism, hate, and extremism for the American Jewish Committee, will be the keynote speaker and will discuss, “Why Hate Matters.”
Dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the program at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public. Cost for dinner and the program is $50 per person, $400 for a table of eight, and $500 for a corporate sponsorship that benefits the work of the Institute. To buy tickets, sponsor a table, or become a corporate sponsor, visit the following link. For more information, contact the Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies at (509) 313-3665 or via e-mail. Only a limited number of tickets are available so organizers suggest folks buy tickets early.
The Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies had been known as the Gonzaga Institute for Action Against Hate since it was founded at the University in 1997 to help combat and eliminate hate within the Northwest and the nation through research, education and advocacy. Its name was formally changed last month to better reflect its future direction.
Reyes, a tireless advocate for the marginalized and underprivileged, has demonstrated a commitment to giving voice to the voiceless. The Human Rights Education Institute works to build a better and more inclusive community. All are welcome to attend the dinner and program focused on celebrating life, challenging hate, and championing intercultural respect.
Reyes was honored Nov. 7, 2009 by the Spokane chapter of the NAACP with its Educational Excellence Award at the organization’s Freedom Fund Banquet. The Spokane branch of the NAACP honored Reyes’ dedication to his profession as an educator and his active opposition to hate. Reyes has served in numerous capacities at Gonzaga for 23 years. He has more than 30 years experience in intercultural relations, human rights, multicultural education and global cross-cultural work, including serving for the previous 12 years as Gonzaga’s chief diversity officer. He was recently appointed interim director of Gonzaga’s expanding Center for Global Engagement.
The Human Rights Education Institute was formed in 1998 to serve as the educational arm of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations. Through its work, the Task Force has been a powerful grassroots human rights organization that has fought hatred, bigotry, and prejudice at every turn in the Inland Northwest. Following a successful lawsuit that bankrupted the Aryan Nations in North Idaho, the Gregory C. Carr Foundation pledged seed money to the Human Rights Education Institute to create a human rights education center in Coeur d’Alene. Through the dedication of many supporters and city officials, the Center officially opened in January 2006 in a historic building in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene.
The Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies will host its second International Conference on Hate Studies from April 7-9, 2011. Building upon the foundation of a successful initial conference in 2004, this conference will convene leading academics from multiple disciplines worldwide. Those disciplines include law enforcement, journalism, education, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, human rights, community organization, activism, and others to discuss hatred from multiple perspectives.
For more information, contact the Institute at (509) 313-3665 or via e-mail. Lassman is a local resident and Holocaust survivor who has worked with the Institute to help combat hate in the region.