This educator’s packet includes “Meet A Hero, Be A Hero” videos – personal and very real accounts of individuals who experienced and/or perpetrated acts of hate in their own lives, and are now encouraging others to interrupt the cycle of hate as they experienced it so personally. These videos, along with suggested curricular follow-up, will spark active and honest discussions in your classrooms and schools. Not just for a day or a week, but we hope for months and perhaps longer. These important discussions can lead to real change. Let us not be bystanders to the continuation of a brutal cycle. HateBrakers stimulates courageous conversations inside and outside of our classrooms. Let us provide our students with positive role models who have been victims, perpetrators, and witnesses to the damaging effects of hate crimes and actions who became change-makers. This video resource guide addresses themes from abuse to bullying to race-baiting to scapegoating to genocide, highlighting moral courage in the face of acts of hate. This educational program for sixth to twelfth graders spotlights individuals who have experienced acts of hate as either targets, witnesses, or perpetrators. Each one used that experience with hate as a springboard to make change and became a model of civility. We partner with classroom teachers to present short videos that highlight these HateBrakers who found the moral courage to become leaders and healers.They demonstrate rich alternatives to persisting as haters or bystanders.Teachers facilitate discussions and activities designed to help students explore issues and themes evoked by the testimonials. “Meet a Hero, Be a Hero” empowers students to find courage through adversity and become leaders themselves. Last year, a Survey Monkey follow-up of thirty thousand viewers of HateBrakers videos found that a large majority began to see themselves as potential changemakers. “Meet a Hero, Be a Hero” has been intentionally designed to provide flexibility to educators who will use the program in a classroom setting. Eight videos are included in the program, with each video highlighting a HateBraker. HateBrakers provides tools to individuals and organizations to interrupt the otherwise predictable cycle of hate-breeds-hate.
Sample HateBraker Interviews
HateBraking Former White Supremacist: Robert Pearl
HateBraking Survivor of Genocide: Olive Mukabalisa
HateBraking Surgeon: Li Ern Chen
Special Needs HateBraker: Amy Shapiro
HateBraking Father of a Murdered Son: Ronald Simpson-Bey
HateBraking Palestinian-American: Suzanne Yatim Aslam
HateBraking Victim of School Slurs: Justin Raymundo
HateBraking Victim of Anti-Semitism: Lenore Pepper
Pre-Lesson IntroductionA brief introduction of HateBrakers and the purpose of our educational program, Meet A Hero, Be A Hero: HateBraking 101.
HateBraking Former White Supremacist: Robert PearlRobert joined a gang at a very young age. This gang was a group of “skinheads” who based their actions on racism and bigotry, not on turf. Skinheads terrorize and torture African Americans, Jews, and other ethnicities that are not Christian and Caucasian like them. Another characteristic of skinheads is that this racist affiliation that is often passed on from generation to generation. After serving his jail sentence for his crimes, Robert became part of a unique prisoner rehabilitation program called Delancey Street Foundation. The program opened his eyes, his mind, and his heart. For the rest of his life, Robert wants to reach young people so that they don’t waste time hating, like he did. Robert wants to teach young people that everyone deserves respect and the chance to be seen as a human being.
HateBraking Survivor of Genocide: Olive MukabalisaAt the age of seven, Olive witnessed the murder of her entire family during the Rwandan genocide, in 1994 Central Africa. She has returned to help heal both targets- the Tutsis- and the perpetrators-the Hutus- who were in power at the time. For Olive, telling her story is incredibly meaningful and an important step in the healing process after something as horrific as Genocide. She strives to return back to her country to work with children and better it in all of the ways she can. In 2013, Olive received the HateBraker Heroes Award.
HateBraking Surgeon: Li Ern ChenLI ERN CHEN trained in surgery at Washington University and Barnes in St. Louis. As student, resident, intern and top surgeon overseeing twelve hospitals, she has experienced, confronted and reformed institutionalized bullying and hazing. Her reforms in the medical workplace, particularly in surgery, have reduced errors and benefited professionals and patients alike.
Special Needs HateBraker: Amy ShapiroAMY RUTH SHAPIRO’s brain tumor was removed when she was four, leaving her with severe learning disabilities. Taunted and teased, she considered suicide until she grasped her own strength and power. She didn’t allow this social and verbal abuse to control her life, but instead works on her second college degree despite being counseled she’d never make it. She teaches kids with disabilities music, dance, and acting. Amy is at work to change the way schools treat disabled children and their families.
HateBraking Father of a Murdered Son: Ronald Simpson-BeyRONALD SIMPSON-BEY, after his only son was murdered on his way to visit him in prison for Father’s Day, lobbied successfully for the fourteen-year-old killer to be tried not as an adult, but as a juvenile. Today Simpson-Bey —whose sentence was reversed after 27 years because he’d been wrong-fully convicted–is a celebrated leader in the national campaign to reform the American prison system.
HateBraking Palestinian-American: Suzanne Yatim AslamSuzanne is Palestinian-American and experienced bullying as a child after 9/11. These experiences inspired her to become passionate about Human Rights and children and to study Human Rights at Webster University. She has traveled to Palestine with Christian Peacemaker Teams, an organization that seeks to rectify injustice in non-violent ways.
HateBraking Victim of School Slurs: Justin RaymundoJustin grew up from a childhood defined by narrow racism and has become a leader of social justice in his adulthood. In high school, Justin was bullied about his race, size, and sexual orientation. Rather than the typical physical bullying, Justin’s perpetrators verbally taunted him and dismissed his leadership and achievements. Justin is now a leader of social justice.
HateBraking Victim of Anti-Semitism: Lenore PepperLenore Pepper is a St. Louis icon of wisdom, generosity and business success. When she was six years old, a neighbouring family brutally beat her and called her cruel anti-Semitic names. Lenore says, “She managed to survive such hate by killing them with kindness. Anything I can do to help make things better, I want to do. Anything." Instead of allowing herself be stuck in the powerlessness of a victim, she has taken this as motivation to better the community.