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GU Institute Hosts International Conference on Hate Studies April 6-9

The Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies oversees publication of the Journal of Hate Studies, among other efforts. Above is the cover of the Journal. Courtesy Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies.

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies will host the Second International Conference on Hate Studies Wednesday through Saturday (April 6-9) in Spokane. The purpose of the conference is “to foster better understanding of the nature of hatred, develop more effective models and approaches for combating it, and consider the implications for practice across many fields,” said Institute Director John Shuford. “A key goal for us is to shape an academic curriculum on hate studies.”
Gonzaga already offers courses in this area, and a hate studies academic degree program would be the world’s first.

Judging from the conference program, which includes more than 70 confirmed speakers from nearly two-dozen countries, much of the world also believes the time has come for a hate studies curriculum.

The conference will feature leading academics from some of world’s top-ranked universities, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, a representative of the U.S. State Department, international experts on hate crimes, as well as journalists, law enforcement personnel, educators, human rights experts, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, community leaders, clergy, and others.

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated author of “I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity,” will be the conference’s keynote speaker.  The highly respected Palestinian physician has become an influential international voice on issues of peace and development in the Middle East. Abuelaish lost three daughters in January 2009 when Israeli tanks twice shelled his home. Yet, remarkably, his message of nonviolence and hope for peace between Israelis and Palestinians endures.

Another conference highlight will be a session titled, “Combating Hatred: Community Impacts & Best Practices,” which will engage international hate crimes experts Barbara Perry and Michael Whine and King County, Wash. Superior Court Judge Steven Gonzales.

Efforts of the Institute and its Journal of Hate Studies have been hailed by politically and ideologically diverse organizations, and in academic and professional circles, as contributing to advancements in the study of hatred and effective responses to this fundamental area of human concern. In January 2009, the incoming Obama Administration received policy recommendations to “encourage the growth of, and find ways to engage with, the movement to create an academic field of ‘hate studies,’ which seeks to provide testable theories about how individuals, groups, institutions and governments can more effectively understand and combat hatred of all types.”

“In the case of so many other human concerns, we have already recognized the value of bringing together the complexity, wisdom, and tools of multiple disciplines,” Shuford said.  “Given the kinds of problems we’re talking about, and what is at stake, it’s time to bring together our best thinking, practices, and questions on tackling hate in the name of promoting peace.”

For more information, visit the website for the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies or contact the Institute via e-mail or at (509) 313-3665.

  1. Tiffany
    Posted March 18, 2011 at 12:17 am

    I am so proud to be an alumni of GU, class of 2005!! I enjoyed this piece and am filled with hope regarding the future for the study of hate in this world. I continue to pray and wish many blessings upon those who are involvedin the development of this conference, and future academic program!