Niagara University’s Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. Institute for Civic Engagement, in partnership with Leadership Niagara, is asking the community to “Halt Hate” on Thursday, April 2. Now in its second year, this annual initiative encourages participants to spend 24 hours choosing not to hate, but rather, to respond compassionately to situations they encounter in their everyday lives and to consciously seek to understand, practice tolerance, and gain perspective.
The goal is for these actions to expand past 24 hours into a lifetime. In its first year, #HALTHATE content reached more than 28,000 social media users. The organizers are hoping for even more engagement this year.
“Leadership Niagara is proud to partner with the Levesque Institute to encourage change through kindness, spending one day consciously choosing to ‘Halt Hate,’ and hoping to gain perspective and understanding,” said Liz Zulawski, president and CEO of Leadership Niagara. “The climate of social discourse in the world today is overwhelmingly vitriolic. Together, we aim to spearhead a movement beginning with 24 hours, with the potential to evolve into two days, one month, even one year dedicated to halting hate.”
“ ‘Halt Hate’ provides an opportunity for individuals to share the importance of solidarity among our toughest of times. This is a time impacting all of us; let's end divisiveness and value what bonding together can realize!” said Patricia Wrobel, executive director of the Levesque Institute.
Participants are asked to follow Leadership Niagara and Niagara IMPACT on social media for thoughtful activities, “Hate Hacks,” and updates; to use the hashtag #HALTHATE to share their stories on how they made a conscious effort to impact positive change rather than react; and to challenge co-workers, family and classmates through social media to share their why and how, as well.