1. Do I have to use #USvsHate lessons to submit anti-hate messages made by my students?
No. We offer a great set of lessons for those who would like to use them, but any student-created anti-hate messages may be entered in our national challenge.
2. How many entries can I submit?
You can submit 5 entries max per class per challenge! In 2020-21, our #USvsHate challenge deadlines are December 11 and March 12.
While we must limit our review of messages, we encourage you strongly to share all of your students’ messaging with your school and local community. Document their work using the #USvsHate hashtag.
3. Do you have any tips for the submission process?
Submissions require material from educators and students and (if submitted with student names) require additional permission from parents or guardians. Therefore, we encourage educators to plan ahead and review the submissions process before submitting. Visit usvshate.org/submit/.
4. What do you mean by “hate“?
#USvsHate is about standing up when people get hurt, whether that hurt is subtle or not. We define “hate” as any time people denigrate, disrespect or harm an individual or group as if their identity makes them an inferior or less valuable type of person. See Definitions and Concepts for more!
5. What do you mean by an “anti-hate message”?
An “anti-hate” message will do one or more of the following:
- Explicitly address, explore and refuse racism, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, antisemitism, sexism, or other forms of hate, bias and injustice in schools and society;
- Communicate that people across lines of difference contribute to our communities, regions, and nation, are equally valuable, and deserve access to opportunity and well-being;
- Bust a myth (challenge a stereotype) about a “type of” person too often misrepresented;
- Ask people to treat each other kindly, fairly and respectfully, so schools stay safe for learning and society includes us all.
As the opposite of hate, anti-hate action means that we are committed to treating all individuals and groups as equally worthy. In the words of Audre Lorde, our goal is to “relate across our human differences as equals.” See our About page for more!
6. Could I make a message in a nontraditional medium, like a performance or public speech?
Absolutely! You can submit messages in any media, and students should feel free to collaborate on messages together. Check out our prior winners for examples of anti-hate messages. See Getting Started for the entire process.
7. I have not taught “anti-hate” lessons before. Should I still try #USvsHate? How can I prepare for addressing “sensitive” or “hard” topics?
Yes, please join us! #USvsHate aims to reach educators at all stages of “preparedness”—and preparation is career-long. If you could use more support, here are a few places to start:
- If people in your group don’t really know each other yet, start with Lessons for Building an Inclusive School Community.
- For a glossary of foundational terms, see our “Definitions and Concepts” page, which also provides links to other professional development resources.
- For guidance about fostering meaningful conversations that support learning, see our Quick Tips for Dialogue and our more in-depth resource, Tools for Productive Dialogue.
- When choosing your #USvsHate lesson, please note that each Lesson Page offers suggestions for setting norms with students before you start teaching.
- And check out our Teacher Stories, which highlight the experiences behind specific lessons and student-made messages to show the ideal outcome of #USvsHate.
- Join the #Schooltalking Facebook community for ongoing support!
8. I’m worried my students are too young, or not “mature” enough to learn about these “anti-hate” topics. Where could I start?
#USvsHate is accessible for everyone! Lessons span elementary through college level. Before trying any lessons, students of all ages can benefit from creating group norms for dialogue, which can help support productive conversations.
9. Is #USvsHate content aligned with standards?
Yes. Individual #USvsHate lessons are aligned to History/Social Studies Standards, CCSS ELA/Literacy Standards, and Social Emotional Learning frameworks (see each lesson!). All of our resources emphasize close reading of a range of challenging texts along with the development of critical thinking, writing and speaking skills. The overall project also aligns with Teaching Tolerance’s Social Justice Standards, which offer four foundational dimensions of anti-hate work we can do in schools: Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Action.
10. What if I face pushback from colleagues or parents?
#USvsHate is an effort to help school communities unite. This is a nonpartisan project; we are inviting all voices into a dialogue about inclusion and valuing people. Nonetheless, below are a few suggestions for preparing for potential “pushback”:
- Enlist the support of administrators, plus parents and district staff as needed.
- Share this site, our lessons, and our definition of “hate” and “anti-hate” to clarify that students are creating messages that will help everyone feel included at school.
- Point out that in addition to being in alignment with standards, these lessons engage students in every district and school’s responsibility: creating a culture free of harassment.
- Find out if your school district has a dedicated department or inclusion policies that can support your #USvsHate efforts.
- Remember that you are part of a very large, supportive community: #USvsHate is a national collective effort supported by UC San Diego’s Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence (CREATE) and Professor Mica Pollock’s national group #Schooltalking. We are many!
Finally, these resources can help you make the case for why #USvsHate is so necessary.
- Hate incidents have spiked across the nation in the past few years. (Any hate spike exposes a deeper, older problem in U.S. life: we don’t treat all people as equally valuable.)
- On campuses across the country and across our communities, hate-filled actions have been on the rise as students react to divisive rhetoric and policy treating some “types of people” as less valuable.
- Explicitly racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic, homophobic, sexist, antisemitic, and just cruel behavior have become far more commonplace in our schools and society.
- A recent national study found that across the U.S., “teachers are seeing increased incivility, intolerance and polarization in classrooms,” “heightened polarization on campus,” and “an increase in students making derogatory remarks about other groups during class discussions.” Notably, “91.6 percent of teachers surveyed agreed that ‘National, state, and local leaders should encourage and model civil exchange and greater understanding across lines of difference.’”
#USvsHate is encouraging all students and their leaders to demonstrate and model anti-hate actions and messaging. Join us!
Do you have more questions not answered here? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.