A student is bringing the Hate Has No Home Here Project to Cornell from her North Park neighborhood in Chicago, seeking to fight back after several racially charged incidents on campus and in the surrounding areas.
The project, which “promotes just and inclusive communities by encouraging neighbors to declare their homes, schools, businesses, and places of worship to be safe places where everyone is welcome and valued,” began “in response to the increase in hate speech,” according to the campaign website.
Posters and yard signs that read “Hate Has No Home Here” in six languages have been distributed in North Park neighborhood.
Lucia Rodriguez ’20 wanted to bring the campaign to Cornell’s campus. She has already started with 1,000 printed posters and 500 lawn signs, funded by Student and Campus Life at Cornell University.
“I’m hoping that if Collegetown, and dorms, and the greater Ithaca community are covered in red and blue posters that read Hate Has No Home Here, people might think twice about acting on their hate,” she said.
Rodriguez wanted to “modify the model [HHNHH campaign] to fit a college campus” because she “felt uneasy” about the incidents happening at Cornell recently and “felt obligated to contribute to a solution”.
“I’m not very good at sitting back and watching things happen,” Rodriguez said. “I think it’s unfair to expect [the] administration to solve everything. I live here. I learn here. I work here. This is my home, so this is my problem too. Some of the incidents that occurred were personal to me, and I knew how impactful HHNHH was in my neighborhood.”
Rodriguez thought another goal of HHNHH was to “start conversation,” which can help people understand others with different opinions but not to hate.
Prof. Kelly Zamudio, ecology and evolutionary biology, faculty mentor for Rodriguez’ Posse Foundation group, a youth leadership program, helped with the Hate Has No Home Here campaign at Cornell. She hoped this campaign can help spread the message of hope, not hate, as well.
“I hope she does accomplish her goals, which are to get a productive and proactive message going on campus about establishing an inclusive environment based on communication, respect and understanding of our differences,” Zamudio said.
Rodriguez believed that what made HHNHH campaign stand out is that it is nonpartisan and nonsectarian. It conveys one message to Americans that “we are all from the same country.”
Zamudio hoped that campaign can bring positive influence not only to the Cornell campus in this “hard year” for Cornell, but also to other communities as well.
“Cornell is a microcosm of our nation, so I think the significance of this campaign is that if HHNHH seeds the community with a positive attitude toward solving our differences, we can work to scale this up at larger and larger community scales.” Zamudio explained.
Rodriguez also thought that the message for conversation and inclusion that HHNHH campaign conveys is a universal one and is “meant to be shared”. Thus, she hoped to see more colleges and universities starting HHNHH campaigns of their own.
“I think getting young people involved is so important, and I think this campaign can be empowering. I’m proud to make Cornell the first college campus to adopt this campaign,” she said. “I’m hoping that I can use my experience to show that this campaign is possible and necessary on college campuses, and others will follow.”