An upswing in hate and extremism is sweeping America, targeting immigrants, African Americans, Muslims and LGBT groups, but another significant victim is the American democratic ideal of social decency.
Southern Poverty Law Center has been fighting hate since its formation in 1971. Never has it been more needed. It is the premier authority in this field.
The organization’s outreach director, Lecia Brooks, will be keynote speaker at a free public forum 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at the Bob Michel Student Center Ballroom, Bradley University.
The event is co-sponsored by Community Word and Bradley University Department of Sociology & Social Work, African American Studies and Intellectual & Cultural Activities Committee.
Brooks joined SPLC in 2004 as director of Mix It Up at Lunch Day, a Teaching Tolerance program designed to help break down racial, cultural and social barriers in schools. Today, as director of outreach for SPLC, she gives presentations around the country to promote tolerance and diversity. She also serves as director of the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, Ala., an interpretive center designed to provide visitors to the Civil Rights Memorial with a deeper understanding of the civil rights movement.
At the Aug. 29 forum, Garry Moore will serve as moderator following Brooks’ keynote and will direct audience questions to a local panel including Rev. Marvin Hightower, Peoria Chapter NAACP; Imam Kamil Mufti, Islamic Foundation of Peoria; Rebecca Carlson, Jewish Federation of Peoria; and Sonny Garcia, Illinois People’s Action.