Recently, students from high school and college have been reaching out to our organization in order to get connected, emulate our methods, and brake the cycle of hate in their own school communities. These clubs give students the opportunity to understand that each person has played the role as a perpetrator, victim, and witness of an act of hate at one time or another. This new understanding diminishes demonization and stereotyping typically found within the school environment and enables students to develop empathy for each other and complete strangers. In addition, students will find that instead of allowing hateful acts to define themselves, students will use it as motivation to better their self, community, family, and/or world.
The mission for each of our after school clubs is to provide a safe outlet for students to go to in order to share their encounters and/or perpetrations of acts of hate. Students can recount times they played the role as a perpetrator, witness, and/or the victim of an act of hate. Students will conduct video interviews with one another and discuss social topics in a socratic method. As a result of conducting interviews, students will gain the crucial skill of empathy and develop a further understanding of one another. By having an accessible safe after-school program enables restorative justice to occur for perpetrators, which by talking in a group will repair the injury caused by their hateful behaviors and/or actions. The same can be said and done for victims, which by talking in a supportive group allows for post-traumatic growth to occur as well a distinct sense of empowerment for bystanders.
Instead of using the traditional method of punishment and detention, we hope that schools will use this program and club to give student perpetrators/bullies the opportunity to redefine themselves as HateBrakers as well as giving students the chance to be humanized and heard.