Southern Poverty Law Center Event Tackles Hate, Extremism in US

Southern Poverty Law Center’s Lecia Brooks spoke to a crowd of nearly 100 on the state of hate and extremism in the U.S. during the featured lecture for the Hate Has No Home at UMass campaign on Oct. 2.

Brooks, who led the talk in the Bernie Dallas Room in Goodell Hall, offered a detailed assessment of the recent rise in hate groups. She discussed where and how these hate groups emerge and also provided guidance for effectively challenging bigotry and hate speech. 

“People often ask us, ‘why is there an increase in hate?’” said Brooks. “The primary driver is shifting demographics.”

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Building Bridges Showcase, Opening Reception Set for April 11

As the spring semester begins, the university will launch Building Bridges, a public art and engagement initiative designed to foster new connections among UMass Amherst community members who come from greatly varied backgrounds and hold differing perspectives. It’s an opportunity, no matter what your role or job may be on campus, to become actively engaged.

The project includes a series of high-profile art installations, enrichment courses for staff, events and lectures. Together, these are intended to invite people with different personal backgrounds— across race, religion, class, immigration status, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability and nationality—to connect and strengthen community.

“In the fall, we embarked on the Hate Has No Home at UMass campaign to affirm the importance of respecting difference in our community,” says Enobong (Anna) Branch, associate chancellor for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. “This semester, we plan to offer several initiatives to foster community-building. The Building Bridges initiative speaks to the power of creative expression and engagement as a means to build connections across difference and create a more inclusive campus community.”

To achieve this, students, faculty and staff are invited to get involved in Building Bridges in a way that feels meaningful to them, whether by attending an event or contributing to one of the three core projects: a Building Bridges Art Installation; a course called Building Bridges: Our Immigrant Voices; and a course called Building Bridges: Showcasing Worker Artists at UMass.

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Buzzfeed: How LiveJournal Fatshionistas Taught Me To Love My Fat Body

Buzzfeed: How LiveJournal Fatshionistas Taught Me To Love My Fat Body

Before I learned my body was fat, all I knew was I was a little bigger than other kids my age. I recognized this in small moments, but it didn’t feel too significant.

There was the time my kindergarten best friend and I were in the backseat of her mom’s car, and I glanced over to see her sitting with her thighs easily pressed together. The size of one of my legs took up the same width as both of hers. Where her legs were thin branches that could rest beside one another, mine were sprawling tree trunks I could only bring together with effort.

Or the time a thick layer of fresh snow had fallen in the backyard of our Connecticut home and my cousin and I decided it was the perfect time to go out and play. Armed with plastic sleds, we ran and jumped onto them, ready to glide down the hill. But he was the only one soaring on top of the ice. My body and the sled sunk into the snow with a loud crunch.

Or the time I visited a friend and she wanted to play outside in the melting snow. I hadn’t worn snow pants, so she grabbed an extra pair from her older sister. They barely fit up my thighs, let alone over my belly. Rather than admit this out loud, I pretended I suddenly felt sick and had to go home.

I just knew I was different. Big. Bigger. But it took some time before I knew that I was fat.

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