A Symposium on Hate, Vulnerability, Harm, and Collective Resistance
Approximately 75 people attended this four hour event in the U.S. Bank Theatre of the Ohio Union on Thursday, November 1. The symposium was organized by the DISCO Graduate Caucus in response to recent hate crimes on campus and in our world, and in answer to emerging debates about the meanings of hate, vulnerability, trauma and harm. Featuring several OSU faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students, and staff, the symposium presented three separate panels that addressed different manifestations of hate, the various vulnerabilities people encounter based on different intersecting identities and experiences, and collective resistance. A complete list of panelists and moderators appears below.
The first panel, "Parsing 'Hate': Defining the Overt and the Covert," defined hate crime and hate speech and highlighted the limitations of the criminal justice system for eradicating crimes and treatment based on identity factors such as race, gender and sexuality. Panelists also discussed the proliferation of online hate speech around the nation and on OSU's campus, and some of the measures that OSU is taking to help create a safe and inclusive environment, including Open Doors Training. Finally, panelists emphasized the need to deconstruct the term "hate" and re-think the ways in which we talk about hate and resist forms of oppression that are not always tangible or neatly categorized.
"Intersecting Vulnerabilities: Harm Across Diverse Experiences" followed up on the first panel by examining several kinds of vulnerabilities that people experience and the ways that people navigate these experiences. Panelists shared their personal stories of feeling vulnerable in the classroom, on campus, and in their daily lives and then explored different strategies for avoiding harm and reinforcing vulnerabilities as forms of strength and interdependence. Throughout, panelists emphasized the significance of intersectionality for understanding people's diverse experiences.
Finally, the third panel, "Fighting Back: Organizing Against Hate, Vulnerability, and Harm," examined OSU StandYourGround (SYG) as a case study into the dynamics of movement building against systems of oppression that perpetuate hate, vulnerability and harm. Panelists explained the history of SYG organizing and the problems that have been encountered, and then shared their thoughts on the importance of resistance efforts and the need for more sustained and wide-reaching activist efforts on campus. Graduate Caucus members who organized this panel also produced a booklet - Organizing and Protesting: A DISCO Grad Caucus Guide - that outlines different kinds of protest activity that may be useful to those who are interested in fighting back, as well as the access issues, limitations and benefits of these activities. Each symposium attendee received a copy, which is available here as a downloadable copy [pdf].
Panel 1: Parsing "Hate": Defining the Overt and the Covert
- Terrell Strayhorn, Associate Professor, School of Educational Policy and Leadership, Senior Research Associate, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity, OSU Moritz College of Law Student
- Joe Ponce, Associate Professor, Department of English
- Jian Chen, Assistant Professor, Department of English
- Bowen Marshall, Ph.D. Candidate, Higher Education and Student Affairs, Graduate Administrative Associate, OSU Student Life
- Chris Sanders, Undergraduate Student, Pilipino Student Association
Moderator: Danielle Olden, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, President of the DISCO Graduate Caucus, Latino Graduate and Professional Student Association
Panel 2: Intersecting Vulnerabilities: Harm Across Diverse Experiences
- Debra Moddelmog, Professor of English, Co-Director of the Sexuality Studies Program, Co-Organizer and Director of the Diversity and Identity Studies Collective at Ohio State University (DISCO)
- Brieanne Billman, Coordinator for Sexual Violence and Education Support at OSU's Student Wellness Center in the Office of Student Life, OSU Alum
- Balpreet Kaur, Undergraduate Student, President of the Sikh Student Association
- Gisell Jeter, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, President of Colorful Women in the Academy
- Paul Velasquez, Undergraduate Student, President of Abilities: An Alliance of Students With and Without Disabilities
Moderator: Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Associate Professor of History and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Coordinator of the Asian American Studies Program, and Co-Organizer of DISCO
Panel 3: Fighting Back: Organizing Against Hate, Vulnerability, and Harm
- Leslie Alexander, Associate Professor, Department of African American and African Studies
- Dawn Miles, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, Leader in OSU StandYourGround
- Rashida Davison, OSU Alum, Community Activist, Leader in SHADES and OSU StandYourGround
Moderator: Annabelle Estera, Graduate Student, Higher Education and Student Affairs, DISCO Graduate Caucus, Graduate Pan Asian Caucus (GradPAC)
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