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Across the globe, millions of people are self-isolating in their homes, often having to wade through a landscape of politics, mixed messages, or misinformation over a virus which overnight seems to have changed our lives and societal norms.
Moving stories of communities working in concert to flatten the curve abound from Italy to South Korea, to here at home in the U.S, and beyond. At the same time, far-right extremist groups have seized on opportunities stemming from the crisis to engage in pandemic profiteering that seeks to scapegoat marginalized communities, immigrants/refugees, and other ethnic groups. This has produced rising numbers of fringe voices stoking fear and outrage —from rhetoric of a “Chinese flu” that has created an uptick in hate-fueled incidents to the spread of conspiracy theory and anti-government narratives (as seen in the wave of protests against “stay at home” orders across the U.S.)—which can undermine core democratic values.
As communities navigate this fragile societal moment what tools and resources might be accessed to stay informed and what is being done on the frontlines to counter groups that would take advantage of this crisis, both at home and across the globe?
Join us for a discussion with Eric K. Ward, executive director of Western States Center, a national expert on the relationship between hate violence and preserving democratic institutions, governance, and inclusive societies, and Randy Blazak, whose scholarship on hate crimes and hate groups has made him a regular commentator in media outlets from NPR and CNN to BBC and Al Jazeera. Moderated by Judy Margles, executive director of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.
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