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A Night of Civil Conflict: Responding to Hate

Over 170 students, faculty, and concerned community members across the Boston area gathered in Raytheon’s Amphitheatre Tuesday, September 17, 2019 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. for the convening of Northeastern’s Conflict. Civility, Respect. Peace. Northeastern Reflects Civic Sustainability series: Responding to Hate. Hosted by Michael S. Dukakis in conjunction with the Presidential Council on Inclusion and Diversity, the gathering was live-streamed to Seattle and San Francisco inviting a cross-national conversation. The event themed around current conversations pertaining to recent public discourse of hate and fear mongering, especially as it contributes to rise in gun violence. The theme comes at a timely moment as conflicts arise between government officials and the general public on how to prevent tragedies in the future. 

Uta Poiger, Dean of CSSH, opened the night’s event introducing the diverse set of panelists coming across the University and Boston area that would lead the night’s conversation. Dead Poiger expressed immediate concerns for the meeting by reflecting on the current division taking place amongst communities across the nation that presses the need for discussion. Ted Landsmark, director of the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center of Urban and Regional Policy, CSSH, moderated the discussion of panelists: Elizabeth Bucar, Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Dean’s Leadership Fellow, CSSH; Amanda Hainsworth, Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office; Robert Jose, Associate Dean for Cultural Residential, and Spiritual Life, Office of Student Affairs; and Gordana Rabrenovic, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict.


5 panelists in discussion as audience members listen.

5 panelists in discussion as audience members listen.


The panelist of scholars and civic members opened discussion on topics about law and legal concerns regarding open carry guns and retributions of mass shootings that happened in places such as Parkland, Florida, Christchurch in New Zealand, and most recently, El Paso, Texas. Panelists linked recent debates to media responses, hate crimes, social media, fear, religion, and morals and values tied to upbringings across race, culture, gender, and sexuality. Professor Elizabeth Bucar especially brought up insightful discourse on how certain religions respond to hate motivated crime. Personal stories, municipal efforts, and university politics were among several topics of conversation presented as panelists sought to find various solutions to the consequences of hateful discourse, fear mongering, and gun violence. 

This multi-faceted issue resulted in audience members participating with panelists and one another to grapple for a civil common ground. Students were given the opportunity to reflect on matters and present their own questions to the panelists. Students asked how to specifically learn and apply the evening’s dialogue to everyday, challenging experiences in their academic, social, and family life. All attendees felt motivated in finding answers to build a sustainable future free of hate motivated crimes as the conversation came to a close for the night.


Students participate in discussion raising hands

Students raise hands as they participate in discussion.


Panelist Members Left to Right: Ted Landsmark, Gordana Rabrenovic, Amanda Hainsworth, Robert Jose, Elizabeth Bucar.

Panelist Members Left to Right: Ted Landsmark, Gordana Rabrenovic, Amanda Hainsworth, Robert Jose, Elizabeth Bucar.


Conflict. Civility. Respect. Peace. Northeastern Reflects: Responding to Hate was sponsored by The College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Office of Student Affairs, and School of Law. 

For more information or upcoming events like this, please visit Conflict. Civility. Respect. Peace. Northeastern Reflects website.

Published On: September 30, 2019 |
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