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Gonzaga Hosts ‘Good Neighbor Conference: Addressing Hate through Advocacy and Action’ Dec. 3

good neighbors

Helping Citizens Fight Bigotry, Hate

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies joins sister organizations advocating for peace and good will to host the Good Neighbor Conference: Addressing Hate through Advocacy and Action on Saturday, Dec. 3, 6-9 p.m. in Jepson Center, E. 330 Desmet Ave.

The event is open to all. Registration is free and available at:

Conference organizers include the Spokane Interfaith Council, Spokane Faith & Values, Spokane County Human Rights Task Force and the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies. Attendees will benefit from a series of discussions, workshops and seminars designed to equip community members with tools to be better advocates for themselves and their neighbors.

“We are deeply concerned with the recent events in our community that demonstrate intolerance and aggression,” said Skyler Oberst, president of the Spokane Interfaith Council. “The acts of vandalism that occurred last week at the Martin Luther King Jr. Outreach Center and elsewhere in Spokane call for the attention of all people of good will.”

“There is a time as a community to come together in rallies and vigils,” Kristine Hoover, director of the Gonzaga University Institute of Hate Studies added. “There is a deep need in our community to mobilize and act in a clear, respectful manner to stand against all forms of bigotry, intolerance and defamation.”

“Citizens of Spokane are calling for the tools to be better advocates for each other,” said Dean Lynch, president of the Spokane County Human Rights Task Force. “That’s what this evening is all about.”

Everyone is welcome to join in the evening of education and understanding. A preliminary agenda and list of sessions appears below.

The event is free and open to all. Donations can be made at the door. Proceeds collected will go directly to the Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies’ Eva Lassman Student Research Award and the Spokane Interfaith Council’s Meet the Neighbors Campaign.

For more information, please contact Skyler Oberst at or 360-989-8217.


Good Neighbor Conference:
Addressing Hate through Advocacy & Action
Dec. 3, 6-9 p.m., Gonzaga University, Jepson Center, 330 DeSmet Ave., Spokane

Preliminary Schedule and Speakers
Coffee/Tea Service in Lobby donated by Umpqua Bank

6 p.m. Welcome and Opening Wolfe Auditorium

  • David Condon, Mayor of Spokane
  • Skyler Oberst, Spokane Interfaith Council
  • Dean Lynch, Spokane County Task Force on Human Rights
  • Tracy Simmons, Spokane FAVs
  • Kristine Hoover, Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies

6:20 p.m. Session One

  • Hate Crimes Panel Discussion: Reporting Strategies: Chief Craig Meidl, Spokane Police Department; Tony Stewart of Kootenai County (Idaho) Task Force on Human Relations; Community Advocates. Wolfe Auditorium
  • Social Media & Addressing Hate Online: Tracy Simmons, Spokane FAVs. Classroom 122
  • LGBTQ Community & Advocacy: Michael Jepson, INBA; OutSpokane Advocates. Classroom 123
  • Dear World Project, Spokane Chase Youth Commission. Classroom 124

7 p.m. Session Two

  • Spokane Rising Panel Discussion: Mark Richard, Downtown Spokane Partnership; Ben Stuckart, Spokane City Council President; John Lemus, Spokane City Human Rights Commission. Wolfe Auditorium
  • Addressing Anti-Semitism: Rabbi Malino, Temple Beth Shalom; Skyler Oberst, Spokane Interfaith Council. Classroom 122
  • Your Muslim Neighbor & Addressing Islamophobia: Arsalan Bukhari, CAIR-WA. Classroom 123
  • Cultural Competency: Tara Dowd, D&F Consulting. Classroom 124


8 p.m. Session Three

  • Gracism” Discussion: Phil Tyler, NAACP Spokane; local faith leaders. Wolfe Auditorium
  • Immigrants in America: The Dreamer Coalition. Classroom 122
  • Standing Together: Ozzie Knezovich, Spokane County Sheriff. Classroom 123
  • Courageous Conversations & Listening to Respond: Tracy Simmons, Spokane FAVs. Classroom 124


8:40 p.m. Closing ~ Wolfe Auditorium

What’s Next? Announcements and SpokaneFAVs/Spokane Interfaith Council Video

9 p.m. Adjournment

Atrium Displays

  • Neighbors Creed (Organization/Individual Pledge Signings)
  • Dear World Project, Chase Youth Commission
  • Community Group Displays

Organized By

  • Spokane County Human Rights Task Force
  • Spokane FAVs
  • Spokane Interfaith Council
  • Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies

Participating Groups / Supporters

  • Council of American Islamic Relations – Washington
  • Center for Justice
  • Chase Youth Commission
  • City of Spokane
  • D&F Consulting
  • Downtown Spokane Partnership
  • OutSpokane
  • Inland Northwest Business Alliance
  • Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Spokane
  • Spokane City Council
  • Spokane City Human Rights Commission
  • Spokane County Sheriff’s Department
  • Spokane Police Department
  1. Maggie Fritz
    Posted December 3, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    What a good evening. This could be an all day conference–each presentation left me wanting more. I have some tools, some contacts. Thank you.