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Spreading love to stop the hate

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Weber State University

Stop the Hate, an event series hosted by the Center for Diversity and Unity, aims to increase public awareness on a variety of issues. These events are created to foster inclusivity and challenge destructive social stigmas.

The first event, Abuse is Not Only Physical, was held on Sept. 20. A guest speaker from Safe at Weber came and lead a workshop on resources available to those who are involved in an abusive relationship.

The second event, titled No More Skeletons: Clearing the Cobwebs Surrounding Mental Health Stigmas, was held on Oct. 18. Steve Vigil, a licensed clinical social worker, lead a discussion on mental illness. Tamara Robinette from the counseling center also joined the discussion and provided insight on resources available to WSU students.

Stop the Hate chair, Makayla Wilson, has a passion for the subjects discussed and loves being involved in the Stop the Hate events.

“The Stop the Hate series is intended to educate individuals both on and off campus about problems that aren’t talked about and issues that have been swept under the rug,” Wilson said. “It’s my job to make sure that I bring those issues and problems to light and get the discussion started.”

The first two events in the series were attended by students and members of the community who came to learn more about these important topics.

“The last few events have been full of wonderful discussions, sharing of experiences and plenty of questions,” Wilson said. “I am a strong believer that the people who show up are there for a reason. If only two people were to come, I would carry on with the event because you never know. Those two people may need it more than I think.”

The final event of the series, Stop the Hate: Hyper Mask-ulinity, will be held on Nov. 15 in the Center for Unity and Diversity (SU 232) at noon.

“The Hyper Mask-ulinity event is going to be jam packed with great information,” Wilson said. “This topic is one that I am so very passionate about. We are going to discuss what hyper masculinity is, who it affects and how it affects them.”

Wilson believes these events have the power to make a difference in people’s lives. When it comes to these tough topics, she has found that knowledge is power and creating an environment of inclusivity makes all the difference.

“I want these events to help people understand that they are not alone,” Wilson said. “If they’ve suffered from an abusive relationship, I understand. I’ve been there, too. If you are affected by mental illness, or feel a connection with any of the upcoming events, you are not alone. Even if you don’t personally deal with anything we discuss and simply want to learn more, that’s okay, too.”

Wilson emphasized that these events are a judgment free, safe environment where stories and questions are encouraged and voices are heard. The Hyper Mask-ulinity event is free and open to the public.

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