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Showing posts from March, 2019

How to counter youth hatred

By Jessica Pierson Russo

A recent study based on Southern Poverty Law Center data found there are 917 organized hate groups in the US. How is this significant to youth work? Put quite simply, because hatred is toxic. Toxic emotions such as hate and anger can lead to emotional and physical health problems. Specifically, race-related stress has shown to be a more powerful risk factor than stressful life events, and hating as a response to being hated often leads to lower self-esteem.

A report that came out last year shows that race relations have gotten only slightly better overall, and in some cases things have gotten worse or stayed the same, in the last 50 years.  Divisions between races and cultures breed uncertainty and lack of trust, which lead to fear, anger, and finally hatred.

What youth learn at home is so powerful that it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we can’t do much about it. But there is a lot we can and should do, because silence on the subject can be just as im…