Background

HateBrakers is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. We aim to reduce hate in our community and around the country by holding events, engaging stakeholders, and working with organizations in an effort to spotlight hatebraking in schools, homes, and communities.

HateBrakers is an innovation of New Conscience, Inc. – the umbrella organization for platforms designed to spotlight the after-effects of hate crimes and interrupt the persistent cycle of hate and denial.

New Conscience and the Mission of HateBrakers

Our book and museum exhibit, Vienna’s Conscience: Close-ups and Conversations After Hitler*, were launched at the Holocaust Museum in St. Louis, Missouri in 2007. The museum exhibit traveled to San Francisco, California later that year. In 2009, Vienna’s Conscience was proclaimed a permanent exhibit at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. The exhibit also ran in Shanghai, China for nearly a year. The success of the book and exhibit led us to our next step. We found a way to display the hate and denial found in the Vienna’s Conscience documents in a more contemporary setting. By bringing the lessons from Vienna’s Conscience into the 21st century, we can find ways for all of us to “get smarter about hate” and do something about it.

We updated the name of our umbrella organization to New Conscience. Under the name New Conscience, we have the original work of the Vienna’s Conscience book and exhibit, along with our new focus, HateBrakers.

We added an interactive, real-time element to allow the museum visitor, middle- or high-school student, or internet presence to confront the subject of hate in a fresh way and develop a sense of power to “Hit the Brakes on Hate”. We spent a year immersed in the study of hate conducted by organizations like The Southern Poverty Center (“Teaching Tolerance”), the ADL (their work on bullying) and Facing History and Ourselves.

HateBrakers

Through studying other organizations, we found a lack of information concerning what happens when people you’d expect to become brutes or Klansmen, gangbangers or revenge seekers, behave like heroes. So that’s what we decided to do. New Conscience named our next project: HateBrakers.

New Conscience launched HateBrakers, to support the mission of the book and exhibit (Vienna’s Conscience: Close-ups and Conversations after Hitler) while updating its insights for the 21st century.

HateBraker Heroes are usually modest people, more doers than explainers—which may explain why they are often so effective. They don’t go on talk shows to preen. They don’t even see themselves as remarkable. They simply wouldn’t be able to live with themselves if they’d acted otherwise.

Most stories of hate crimes end when the hate gets quiet, but HateBrakers provides follow-up stories about hitting the brakes on hate for journalists, educators, political and military leaders, and everyday decision-makers around the world. We believe that, the more people become acquainted with such cases, the more and more common the gesture of hate braking will become.

HateBrakers now provides close-up conversations with people who have caused, witnessed or endured acts of hate–from bullying to genocide–and gone on to become heroes, healers and leaders.

Our International Advisory Board is working to spread the word and start chapters of HateBrakers around the world.