Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Southern Poverty Law Center's Heidi Beirich addresses "Fighting Hate in America" April 2

From Lisa Icenogle, Casper College PIO:

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Heidi Beirich will present "Fighting Hate in America" on Saturday, April 2, at 7 p.m. in Durham Recital Hall in the Aley Fine Arts Center at Casper College.

Beirich, an expert on academic racism, nativist extremism, and the white supremacist fringe of the neo-Confederate movement, is the director of research in the center's hate and extremism department.

According to information provided by the SPLC, the center monitors hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States and exposes their activities to law enforcement agencies, the media and the public. The center is credited with crippling some of the nation's most notorious hate groups by suing them for murders and other violent acts committed by their members. Currently, as of this writing, there are 1,002 known hate groups operating across the country.

"After a brief decline in the mid 1990s hate groups have exploded, more than tripling in number since the mid 90s. In particular, the number of hate and extremist websites has grown. The SPLC is a highly regarded resource for government agencies as well as academics that study and seek to counter such groups, said Erich Frankland, Casper College political science instructor. "This presentation hopefully will draw students, members of the community, and others to learn more about this pressing issue," he added.

"I was moved to help bring in someone of Beirich's qualifications to speak to the community about hate crimes following the shootings in Tucson this past January. I believe that we need to work toward ending hate in this country," said Mariko Miller, Democratic Women's Forum representative.

A reception will follow Beirich's presentation, which is sponsored by the Democratic Women's Forum, the Casper College Political Science Department, and the Casper College Campus Security Office.

Both the presentation and reception are free and open to all.

FMI: Erich Frankland: 307-268-2490 and Mariko (Mako) Miller: 234-2317.

See the SPLC's "Hate Map" of the U.S. at http://splcenter.org/get-informed/hate-map

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