SPOKANE, Wash. — The Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies will present the 2013 Eva Lassman Take Action Against Hate Awards to Linda Pall, longtime Inland Northwest civil and human rights champion, and World Outside My Shoes, the educational and professional development nonprofit founded by Carl and Teresa Wilkens, at its Fifth Annual Take Action Against Hate Banquet.
This year’s banquet program includes a talk by violence prevention, social media and peace-building expert Joseph Bock from the University of Notre Dame and a reprise performance of “Eva’s Song” by Michael Gurian. The event is Tuesday, Oct. 22 in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room at Gonzaga; dinner is at 6:30 p.m. with the program at 7 p.m.
The Institute annually presents the Eva Lassman Take Action Against Hate Awards to an Inland Northwest individual and an organization committed to challenging hatred. The 2013 awardees are well known for experiencing life from the perspective of “the other’s shoes” to prevent violence and promote dignity.
The organization World Outside My Shoes inspires and equips people to enter the world of “the other” and to stand up against genocide, racism, and intolerance. As a humanitarian aid worker, Carl Wilkens was the only American who chose to remain in Kigali, Rwanda during the 1994 genocide; he saved the lives of hundreds of children and others. Both he and Teresa Wilkens return to Rwanda regularly and travel the entire world, building peace and spreading a message of committed nonviolent action against hatred.
Pall is well-known in the Palouse region for her leadership on human and civil rights, nondiscrimination, equity and access concerns. A practicing attorney and former faculty member at Washington State University and the University of Idaho Law School, Pall served for nearly two decades on the Moscow, Idaho City Council. She has received the Rosa Parks Award, the Idaho State Bar Diversity Section Access to Justice Award, and the Abdul Mannan and Ismat Sheikh Human Rights Award. The City of Moscow proclaimed April 25, 2008 “Linda Pall Day.”
Bock, the featured speaker, is the Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies’ inaugural visiting fellow. A teaching professor, Bock directs global health training in Notre Dame’s master of science in global health program. His work on “early warning and early response,” featured in The Technology of Nonviolence: Social Media and Violence Prevention, is a watershed concept for harnessing social media to prevent violence and provide aid in humanitarian disasters. Bock has addressed gatherings at the World Bank, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and a United Nations assembly in Cairo. He worked for a dozen years in leadership roles with Catholic Relief Services and American Refugee Committee, heading activities in many parts of Asia, Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East.
The program includes a performance of “Eva’s Song,” the poetic remembrance of Eva Lassman, read by its best-selling author, Michael Gurian, with cellist Vicki Strauss providing accompaniment. Lassman, a Holocaust survivor and longtime community educator on the Holocaust and human rights, received the inaugural Take Action Against Hate Award in 2009. For more than five decades, she stood as both witness and advocate for dignity, respect, and perseverance. She served on the Institute’s advisory board and received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Gonzaga University School of Law in 2002. She died in 2011 just shy of age 92.
For more information on the banquet, to make reservations, or to sponsor, visit http://www.gonzaga.edu/Academics/hate-studies/take-action-against-hate/default.asp, call (509) 313-3665 or contact the Institute via email. Inquiries should be directed to John Shuford, director of the Institute, at (509) 313-3665. Media please contact Mary Joan Hahn at (509) 313-6095 or Peter Tormey at (509) 313-6132.