What is #USvsHate?

#USvsHate (“us versus hate”; usvshate.org) is an educator- and student-led messaging project designed to counter bigotry in schools, create welcoming classrooms, and embrace inclusion and justice for all in our diverse schools and society. Every school community can help spread the message that all community members are part of “US.”

#USvsHate is a national project of UC San Diego CREATE and Mica’s #Schooltalking. Our national expansion is also powered by the teacher networks of the National Writing Project.

We seek to unite school communities against hate, bias, and injustice by catalyzing ongoing learning and action.

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.

Imagine schools covered with messages that “insist publicly that all people are equally valuable.” Imagine school communities where everyone feels part of “us.” Join us!

In #USvsHate, educators build on their own curriculum or teach one or more “anti-hate” lessons Mica and a teacher team curated from partner organizations: Lessons for Building an Inclusive School Community [issues of inclusion, identity, relationship-building, harassment, bullying, empathy, and “words that hurt”], and Lessons on Specific Forms of Hate, Bias, and Inequality [lessons on “racism,” “xenophobia,” “homophobia” and “transphobia,” “Islamophobia,” “antisemitism,” and “sexism.”] Then, students create “anti-hate” messages in any media for their school communities and the public. Our national challenges amplify youth voices for a national audience.

“Anti-hate” messages do one or more of the following:

Image 1: The #USvsHate Process

  • 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.
  • Explicitly address, explore, and refuse racism, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism, or other forms of hate, bias and injustice in schools and society.
  • Bust a myth (challenge a stereotype) about a “type of” person too often misrepresented, instead communicating who we are — and celebrating our diversity and similarity.
  • Ask people to treat each other kindly, fairly and respectfully, so schools stay safe for learning and society includes us all.

Our team at CREATE designed and piloted #usvshate with educators/students across San Diego between 2017 and 2019. Teaching Tolerance (now Learning for Justice) then hosted our first national challenge in 2019-20. CREATE and #schooltalking are now continuing to build #usvshate nationally! Over 11K students (kindergarten through college) from across the country have participated to date. Join us!

Want to talk with Mica Pollock and #USvsHate teacher leaders about joining #USvsHate where you work? Email micapollock@ucsd.edu.