Days Without Hate
By Halli James, Class of 2014, Co-Chair of Days Without Hate 2013
Days Without Hate is an annual student-led community service program at Rutgers Hillel that unites the Rutgers community to make a statement that we care about our social environment.
Days Without Hate is such a special event. When I was approached to co-chair it with Sarah Harpaz for November 2013, I went for the opportunity, but I had no idea what I was getting into. This is a event meant to promote love and tolerance among people from all walks of life, which is something I find very important, but we chose to not only focus on accepting other people, but also accepting yourself. I was amazed by the extremely personal interviews we got on the steps of Brower from random students walking by. Most people have faced some kind of adversity in their lives and it was powerful to hear stories of overcoming so many different kinds of hate. It was also wonderful to get so many different student organizations involved with one project. I had the opportunity to meet and work with some truly wonderful people.
Organizing any kind of event is a challenge, but trying to plan programs, book spaces, and coordinate volunteers for three continuous days was certainly an experience. There were definitely times that I felt really overwhelmed, but everything came together in the end. We had great turnouts at all of our programs, and I felt that each of them was powerful in its own way. Dr. Michael Fowlin gave an excellent performance about accepting yourself and others that addressed some sensitive topics that people usually avoid, but need to be talked about. I was particularly blown away by the performances at the coffeehouse. Everyone has a different perspective and a different way of expressing their ideas from singing, to poetry, to film and it was such an incredible evening of seeing all of these people brought together through different art forms.
Honestly, I would say I got just as much if not more out of Days Without Hate than I could have hoped this program would give to other people. I think it’s very important to hold programs like this because it is a wake up call. Asking people to sign a pledge to spend just one day thinking about how their actions affect others is all it takes to make a difference. Plenty of people are pro-acceptance, but sometimes they don’t realize the large impact even their small actions can have. Events like this bring it to everyone’s attention, and that’s really what we need.
Click here to view a compelling video of Days Without Hate participants directed by Lindsey Michelle ’17 in November 2013.
This year Days Without Hate will take place on Monday, November 10th and Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 and will include a Multi-Cultural Night on Monday, November 10th, a Shoe Drive, and a Blood Drive. For more information, visit the Days Without Hate Multi-Cultural Night Facebook event page, the Shoe Drive Facebook page and the Blood Drive Facebook page.
Tables will be set up in dining halls and student centers where students, faculty, staff, and local residents can sign a pledge to spend an entire day where they consider their words, their actions, and their effects. You can sign the pledge online here until Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 11:59pm.