09/17/2003

Teaching Tolerance Releases New Anti-Hate Guide for Colleges

Teaching Tolerance has released a new guidebook, "10 Ways to Fight Hate on Campus: A Response Guide for College Activists."

The publication is designed to help students deal effectively with bias incidents on campus — incidents like the one recently targeting Central College student Marqita Jones.

It took the senior at this small, private college in Iowa a moment to notice the racist word scrawled on her dorm room door the weekend before classes began: the N-word, written hastily in black marker on dark-green construction paper, just below the 21-year-old's name.

Now she doubts she'll ever forget it.

"Whenever I tell anybody about my Central experience, this will be part of the story," said Jones. "This will always be part of my Central memories."

Jones, like 25 percent of minority college students each year, has become the target of hate on her campus. (Read a full report on this incident on Teaching Tolerance.)

"Every day in this country, a hate crime occurs on a college campus," said Brandon Wilson, outreach associate for Tolerance.org. "And every minute, a student somewhere is targeted with bigoted slurs and epithets."

The Center spent more than two years investigating hate crimes and bias incidents on college campuses. It found schools across the country — from Harvard to Ole Miss, Stanford to East Tennessee, Iowa State to Florida A&M — struggling with the problem.

"No campus is immune to bias," said Wilson.

Indeed, hate is so prevalent on college campuses that one expert has called it "the background noise of students' lives."

"We hope to help students change that soundtrack," said Wilson.

Free copies of "10 Ways to Fight Hate on Campus" are available, in print and online, to members of college communities. In October, Tolerance.org will begin offering workshops for campus groups interested in fighting hate and promoting tolerance.