Niagara University’s Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. Institute for Civic Engagement, in partnership with Leadership Niagara, is asking the community to Halt Hate on Tuesday, April 2. The initiative, announced at the recent Compassionate Niagara Conference on NU’s campus, encourages participants to spend 24 hours choosing not to hate, but rather, to respond compassionately to situations that they encounter in their everyday lives, to consciously seek to understand, to practice tolerance, and to gain perspective. The goal is for these actions to expand past 24 hours into a lifetime.

“Leadership Niagara is proud to partner with the Levesque Institute to encourage change through kindness, spending one day consciously choosing to ‘Halt Hate,’ and hoping to gain perspective and understanding,” said Liz Zulawski, president & CEO of Leadership Niagara.  “The climate of social discourse in the world today is overwhelmingly vitriolic. Together, we aim to spearhead a movement beginning with 24 hours, with the potential to evolve into two days, one month, even one year dedicated to halting hate.”

“We are excited to collaborate with Leadership Niagara on this initiative to bring awareness of how our words and actions matter in these divisive times,” said Patricia Wrobel, executive director of the Levesque Institute. “It is our hope that we can send this message through social media and extend the 24 hours of reflective dialogue into long-term positive change.”

Participants are asked to follow Leadership Niagara and Niagara IMPACT on social media for thoughtful activities, “Hate Hacks,” and updates; to use the hashtag #HALTHATE to share their stories on how they made a conscious effort to impact positive change rather than react; and to challenge co-workers, family, and classmates to share their why and how, as well.

For more information, contact Noelle McCoy, Leadership Niagara program manager, at or 716-579-3463; or Brittany DePietro, Levesque Institute/IMPACT coordinator, at or 716-286-8750.

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