Gonzaga University to host fifth International Conference on Hate Studies

Gonzaga University will host the fifth International Conference on Hate Studies April 2-4 at the university's Hemmingson Center. Gonzaga announced the upcoming conference, titled "Building Peace through Dialogue, Kindness, and Forgiveness," in a press release Jan. 30.

The conference is sponsored by the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies, the Kootenai County Task Force for Human Relations and the Spokane County Human Rights Task Force.

According to the press release, "the program represents one of the world's leading interdisciplinary academic forums on hate, related social problems, and ways to create socially just and inclusive communities."

The goal of the conference is that participants leave with the ability to "better analyze and combat hatred in its various manifestations to lead to communities being committed to peace, human rights and justice."

More specifically, the conference aims to empower participants with enhanced skills to build community within the hate studies networks, share best practices related to actions that challenge hate, and generate interdisciplinary research projects related to the overall conference theme.

"This year we are particularly proud that the conference will include an afternoon session on April 3 dedicated to an interactive community dialogue, where we encourage participation from a range of worldviews to address human rights in our community," said Kristine Hoover, director of the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies, in the press release.

The program will also consist of arts performances, including a play written by a Gonzaga student and an evening student choral, theatre, and dance performance.

According to the press release, people from a wide range of fields are encouraged to attend the interdisciplinary conference, including leading academics from around the world, journalists, law enforcement personnel, representatives of government and nongovernmental organizations and activists. The conference website also invites "international, national, and regional audiences to participate, whether as presenters or attendees."

"If hate is understood better, then approaches to combat it can increasingly become testable theories, and then analyzed and improved," Hoover said. "This work can have real-world impact, including creating models for changes in society, government, culture and our individual communal lives."

Conference registration opens Feb. 1.

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