Commission on Human Diversity

Professor Vicki Meloney presented the origins of Replace-the-Hate and hosed a hands on workshop at the 8th annual Commission on Human Diversity Conference at Kutztown University. Participants used hands-on techniques to create cardboard printing plates to make signs that read “Cultivate Kindness” and “Replace-the-Hate”.  By using custom foam stamps and bright colored markers the participants were able to personalize their posters.

The Kutztown University Commission on Human Diversity facilitates the development of an environment in which members of the university community are valued and their differences honored. Understanding for and among all groups is pursued through the arrangement and support of special activities such as open forums, diversity dialogues and education workshops that promote awareness and honor of each other’s differences.

Good Design Works

Replace-the-Hate traveled to Youngstown, Ohio to host a workshop at the 13th annual UCDA Design Education Summit: “Good Design Works”. The summit spotlighted all aspects of purpose-driven graphic design that are having an influential, positive impact on the world. It celebrated designer’s ability to create meaningful social change through visual communications that celebrate, criticize, educate or advocate.

The participants at the workshop were able to craft their own messages of love and hope by experimenting with xerox transfers, antique wood type, ink and cardboard printing plates. The discussion that took place during the workshop was thought-provoking, engaging and insightful.

The University & College Designers Association (UCDA) inspires designers working in academia in North America and around the world by delivering relevant programming and benefits in a personal and thoughtful way.

Free speech rules at Kutztown University event

Free speech rules at Kutztown University event

Students learned how to respond to protests without being confrontational.



Free speech rules at Kutztown University, but there are rules about how to respond when speech is offensive or hateful.

At a session on Friday, aptly named Free Speech Rules, campus officials advised students ways to combat offensive speech without being confrontational.

One way is to simply walk past protesters, paying as little attention as possible to their message. Indeed, the university’s Bias Response Task Force has begun a “Walk on By” initiative.

Sgt. Barry Althouse advised students to hold counter protests on another area of campus, as far away as possible. “It’s better to be far away,” he advised. “That way you’re not disturbed by what’s going on.”

That wasn’t the case in December, when a group calling itself Matthew 24 Ministries gathered outside South Dining Hall. They held signs that read “Obey Jesus or Hellfire” and “You are not a good person.” Other signs targeted feminists, gays, the pope and Muslims.

Campus police were on alert as about 200 Kutztown students staged a counter protest. Tension increased as opposing groups engaged in verbal sparring.

The university responded by creating the Bias Response Task Force and holding Unity Day, a celebration of diversity on campus. With community groups from Kutztown, they launched Replace the Hate campaign.

Vicki Meloney, professor of communication design, chaired the session in Sharadin Art Center on campus. About 40 students, faculty, campus police and advisers attended.

Dr. Jennifer Schlegel, professor of anthropology, explained that almost all forms of speech are protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. “Unlike other countries,” she explained, “we do not restrict the content of speech.” Responding to a student question about why campuses seem to be targeted by hate groups, Schlegel suggested it is because campuses are citadels of free speech.

“For many of our students, it’s their first engagement with offensive speech,” she said. “Because it’s their first encounter, it is all the more powerful.”

As part of the three-hour program, Meloney had art students create drawings and posters with anti-hate themes. “Art gives people the ability to respond positively to a negative event,” she said. Meloney made a list of possible themes for the artwork. Included were “Ease the Hate,” “Don’t Hate, Educate” and “Replace the Hate with .”

Morgan Nadin, a sophomore communications design student from Delaware County, focused on the words that came up again and again in the session – hate and hurt. “I wanted to incorporate hate and hurt into my artwork,” she said. After some thought, she created a poster that read: “Hate Is Hurt.”

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Replace-the-Hate goes international

Replace-the-Hate goes international

Professors Doris Palmeros and Vicki Meloney Replace-the-Hate in Barcelona, Spain. Professor Palmeros and Professor Meloney gave a 20 minute presentation and a 45 minute workshop and shared their experiences and insights on the power of collective art as an antidote to hate and fear. Both the presentation and workshop were well attended and the international participants were intrigued by our national “new normal” of hate rhetoric in the U.S.

The International Conference on Design Principles & Practices offers an interdisciplinary forum to explore the meaning and purpose of design. International Conference on Design Principles & Practices attendees include leaders in the field, as well as emerging scholars, who travel to the conference from all corners of the globe and represent a broad range of disciplines and perspectives.

reemplaça l’odi! (replace the hate in Catalan the official language of Barcelona, Spain)




Kutztown officials share community’s anti-hate message


KUTZTOWN, PA —Peace.Love.Kutztown, a community wide response to hate speech that surfaced last year at Kutztown University, explained its mission at the 10th Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Summit on Inclusive Excellence and International Education recently at West Chester University.

The summit, whose theme was Intersectionality: Moving Beyond the Margins, was held Nov. 16-17 in Sykes Student Union building at West Chester.

A panel that included Kutztown University President Kenneth S. Hawkinson and Beth Patten, a social studies teacher at Kutztown Middle School, outlined strategies Peace.Love.Kutztown has developed to combat speech and literature distributed by hate groups.

“Our grass-roots community initiative has become a unifying force that has led to a more inclusive community and stronger town-gown relations,” Kutztown University professor Jennifer R. Schlegel said in introducing the panel. “The panelists are prepared to share their perspectives with other communities in the PASSHE system and beyond.”

West Chester University President Christopher M. Fiorentino, Patten said, indicated interest in continuing a dialogue with Kutztown.

The Kutztown initiative’s slogan, Stop the Hate Together, reflects a broad community approach. Its banner depicts a goldfinch, tulips and a heart – unifying symbols in Pennsylvania Dutch culture.

Panelists in “Bridging Communities and Responding to Hate at Kutztown” included Nikolai Blichar, a Kutztown graduate student; Caecilia Holt, Kutztown school director; Vicki L. Meloney, professor of graphic design at Kutztown; and Jerry Schearer, Kutztown’s associate dean for inclusion and outreach.

Schlegel, associate professor of anthropology, said Peace.Love.Kutztown has drawn on local strengths to create communitywide alliances against hate.

The initiative follows the model of “Be, See, Do” that each PASSHE community could draw on the strength of its local culture, Schlegel said.

“Kutztown is being itself, seeing what’s happening in our community and doing what matters to bring people together and create the community they desire to be: Peace.Love.Kutztown,” Schlegel said.

Holt, owner of Young Ones Record Store in Kutztown, said businesses have responded to draw attention to the initiative’s goals.

Businesses on Main Street posted art created by Kutztown children who participated in a coloring contest with an anti-hate theme. The visibility, Holt said, called attention to the need for an initiative like Peace.Love.Kutztown.

Dr. George Fiore, Kutztown superintendent of schools, was not on the panel but lent his support to the initiative.

“Today our students are bombarded with so many negative influences that it is important we take an active role in demonstrating the positive effects of altruism and good citizenship,” he said. “The partnership between our school district, Kutztown University, businesses and the community shows we are committed to creating a better tomorrow for our students.”

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Kutztown students, community ‘hate the hate’ by making their own posters



Kutztown University students and community members know hateful posters like the white nationalist ones that popped up on campus last week can be more than just pieces of paper.

They can be turned into origami, made into a paper mache bowl or used as kindling in a fire.

Those were just some of the ideas generated at an event hosted Friday by Kutztown University’s communication design department. The event, a workshop called “Hate the Hate,” was intended to allow students to create anti-intolerance posters. They also made buttons, paper cranes and seed bombs by grinding up paper with hateful sayings and mixing it with flower seeds.

The idea started after professor Vicki Meloney heard about the white nationalist posters, which were part of a nationwide effort by a group called Identity Evropa.

“I was just tired, exasperated from hearing the bad news, one day after another of bad political news,” she said. “I started playing with the idea of, ‘Don’t get mad, get creative.’ I saw this as a teachable moment for students.”

She sent an email offering extra credit to students who could find the posters and make something beautiful out of them. Her email made its way to social media and got thousands of reactions, so she wanted to do more. The few posters on campus were long gone, so she opted for the event Friday where people could create their own posters. She plans to put them online so they can be used at campuses across the country.

Meloney only saw the white nationalist posters online, photographs of Greek statues with slogans such as “protect your heritage” and “serve your people,” and said their message was subtle. Identity Evropa, which identifies itself as an American-based group “dedicated to promoting the interests of People of European Heritage,” on the group’s Facebook page, placed the posters at campuses across the country.

Yuwen Sun, a Kutztown student from China, said she was initially shocked and a little nervous when she heard about the posters on campus. But her fears disappeared as soon as she saw her friends and teachers.

“I feel like I’m supported and comfortable and safe here,” she said while she created a poster with a panda and a heart at the workshop.

Colt Barron, a Kutztown sophomore from Emmaus, created a poster titled “101 things to do with hate posters,” with blank space at the end for students to tack on their ideas. Barron said he felt horrible when he heard about the posters and that they didn’t square with his experiences at the school.

“It felt like a child was lashing out,” he said. “As a student body and college community, none of us adhere to that antiquated way of thinking.”

Alexis Manduke, a senior from Harrisburg, came to the event because she couldn’t stand the white nationalist posters, especially at the university.

“It made me feel annoyed and angry,” she said. “Everyone should be equal and accepted.”

Meloney urged people on other college campuses with white nationalist posters to re-create Kutztown’s project.

“They’re designed to create anger,” Meloney said. “My message is if you see these posters on campus to not react in an angry way but to take them down and turn them into a positive message.”

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