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Former White Supremacist Joins Civil Rights Activist to Talk About Unlearning Hate

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
January 19, 2011

A former white supremacist and a Civil Rights activist will come together on campus Thursday, Feb. 3, for the conversation “Unlearning Hate: Turning Corrosive Powers into Positive Action.” The discussion, one of several events celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., takes place from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Granite State Room of the MUB. All events are free and open to the public but tickets are required for this and for the commemorative address.

Tom Martinez, once a member of the Klu Klux Klan and the hate group The Order, joins Morris Dees, Civil Rights speaker and one of the founders of the Southern Poverty Law Center, to explore how prejudice and hate are learned and how they can be unlearned.

The talk will be moderated by former president of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association Katherine Brown and introduced by sociology and justice studies student Chaquanzah Stephenson. 

Dees will give the commemorative address “With Justice For All” the same day, Feb. 3, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Granite State Room. The activist will address the historical and current social, cultural, political and economic circumstances that have given rise to increases in hate crimes, participation in hate groups, and the current political climate that fosters and empowers intolerance and hate in plain view in today's political discourse. He will also focus on how young people are being creatively recruited into a wide variety of sophisticated hate groups and the long term implications this may have, as well as the need for teaching deeper understanding, love and respect for one another.

Senior Kenlyne Exume will be the host. Performers include the UNH spoken word group “Owr Wirdz” and the UNH department of theatre and dance troupe performing “Seasons of Love” from their recent production of the hit musical “Rent.”

Additional events take place from Jan. 27 through Feb. 10. For a full description and complete schedule of visit http://unh.edu/diversity/mlk/. All events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, Jan. 27: The Human Face of Hate Crimes: A Retrospective, 5 p.m., MUB Strafford Room. Students from various backgrounds will present their research in photos documenting oppression in the United States. A discussion of the 2010 Princeton Review ranking UNH third among American colleges with the lowest number of interactions among students of different races also will take place.

Sunday, Jan. 30: “Grounded in Hope: Empowered to Love, Inspired to Act”, 4 p.m., at the Community Church of Durham. An interfaith and spirited celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. presented in song, readings, prayer, reflection, and community. The Rev. Dr. Kirk Byron Jones will be the featured speaker. For more information, call 2-1165 or email Larry.Brickner-wood@unh.edu.

Thursday, Feb. 10: “Putting Belief into Action” from 12:30-2 p.m., MUB Strafford Room. A panel presentation offering diverse perspectives on how people put spiritual beliefs into action against oppression. An open discussion will follow. For more information call 2-1058 or e-mail sfoster@cisunix.unh.edu. Feel free to bring your lunch. Light refreshments will be provided.

To reserve a ticket to the Feb. 3 events, visit http://www.unh.edu/diversity/mlk or call JerriAnne Boggis at 2-0693. Parking is free after 6 p.m. and on weekends. Call 2-0693 for information about accessibility. Tickets are required for some events.


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