Teaching Tolerance Lifts CREATE’s #USvsHate

“This is an initiative that invites student voice. Kids are given an invitation to message and speak their perspective. Teachers are being invited into a collective effort to work on the issues of our society rather than pretend the world doesn’t exist.” – Mica Pollock, UC San Diego Professor of Education Studies, Director of the Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE)

#USvsHate, a student- and educator-led anti-hate messaging project, was featured in an article for the fall 2019 issue of Teaching Tolerance magazine in anticipation of its national launch by Teaching Tolerance in 2020.

#USvsHate was designed collaboratively by CREATE Director and UC San Diego Education Studies Professor Mica Pollock, UC San Diego doctoral student Mariko Cavey, CREATE Digital Specialist Minhtuyen Mai, and educators throughout San Diego, including early project champions Sarah Peterson, regional director for the California Reading and Literature Project, and Kim Douillard, regional director for the San Diego Area Writing Project in CREATE. Educators from schools across the San Diego region piloted and grew the innovative intervention starting in Winter 2017; by spring 2019, it had engaged more than 53 teachers and an estimated 3,300 students in grades PK through college. Teaching Tolerance is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Students and teachers who participated in the messaging and lessons called #USvsHate a unifying and sorely needed “way in” to inclusion work in today’s classrooms.

Read an excerpt from “#USvsHate” Teaching Tolerance, Number 63; Fall 2019

Walking through the halls of Bonita Vista High School in Chula Vista, California, it’s clear the school and its students have a message to send: Hate has no place here.

The classroom windows and bulletin boards display posters with slogans like “Stand strong for others” and “Humanity is bigger than borders.” Students’ binders and water bottles are plastered with stickers declaring, “When you fight for equality, fight for everyone.”

It’s not just the tone that distinguishes these posters and stickers from typical hallway decor; although they are professionally produced, the artwork was made by students. These inspiring words aren’t being forced on kids by adults. They are messages to young people from young people. A few years ago, these messages weren’t visible at Bonita Vista. They later appeared as part of a multi-district curricular intervention called #USvsHate, which originated out of the UC San Diego Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE). Mica Pollock, a professor at UCSD and the director of CREATE, describes #USvsHate as “a vehicle for young people to engage the issues of our time and to publicly put forth their perspective and proactively message against hate.”

Read the full article here.

To learn more about #USvsHate, visit the website or contact Mica Pollock (micapollock@ucsd.edu).