The First Annual HateBraker Heroes Awards was an incredible success! The event was presented by New Conscience, Inc. and sponsored by Webster University’s Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies.
We honored the heroism of the individuals highlighted below, who have transcended the cycle of hate and have found the moral courage to become leaders and healers. A special thank you to Fat Chimp Studios for providing the footage of the event.
Graie Barasch-Hagans grew up surrounded by addiction and violence and poverty, with a strong sense that it was her job to take care of everyone. Graie vowed to one day fix everything, particularly the broken schools. Graie taught history at MICDS and went on to New Orleans to help rebuild their broken schools. Next fall, Graie will start work on a Doctorate at Rutgers, taking a deep send of how the world of education works and how to get it to work better.
Dr. Lawrence Jehling. When Olive’s uncle, Father John was visiting St. Louis, he had vision problems, so some Sisters introduced him to Larry Jehling, founder of Clarkson Eyecare, to treat his eyes. John and Larry bonded, and before Larry knew it, these works came out of his mouth: “Ill bring Olive to St. Louis and arrange for her to attend Webster University.
Olive Mukabalisa. By the time she was six years old, Olive had already seen her immediate family slaughtered by perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide. Dr. Lawrence Jehling, founder of Clarkson Eyecare, learned about her from her uncle, a Catholic priest. Jehling arranged for Olive and other orphans to attend Webster University.
Annie Kopp was physically and emotionally bullied over and over again as a high school freshman. No one seemed to notice. She responded with determination to change things, and her choice of action was to develop a brilliant stand-up routine, Stand Up to Bulling, and perform it at a faculty meeting at Ladue High School. Now Ladue School District has a new administration, with combatting bullying and other hateful behavior as a top priority.
Suzanne Yatim Aslam, a Palestinian – American, was badly bullied after 9/11, when she was a child. She responded with a passion for social justice, particularly for children. She works at home and around the world to help children interrupt the cycle of hate-breeds-hate. She travels to the Middle East, working with groups of Christians, Muslims and Jews on behalf of children in non-violent ways. And, in addition, she is the current Miss Arab-America.
Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul and Mary fame, is grooming our next generation of leaders to be HateBrakers, Peter founded Operation Respect in 2009 to assure each child and youth respectful, safe and compassionate climate of learning where their academic, social and emotional development can take place free of bullying, ridicule and violence. Peter learned early in his life about emotional pain, about the power of compassion and about the healing power of music. For more than half a century, he’s carried that compassion in his music to some of our most challenging situations including Peter Paul and Mary’s singing at the March on Washington for a quarter million people, civil rights marches, campuses and campaigns for the homeless and hungry.