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10 Ways to Fight Hate: Teach Acceptance 

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This is the ninth in a series of 10 programs on 10 Ways to Fight Hate in Your Community. Colin Lowther and Liz Waid look at the ninth way to fight hate – teaching about acceptance of other people and cultures.

Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

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And I’m Colin Lowther. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand no matter where in the world they live.

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In 2019, a group of researchers from York University in Toronto, Canada studied a group of school children. They showed each child the image of a face. Then they showed the child a neutral symbol. After they saw the symbol, researchers asked the children if the symbol was nice looking or not nice looking. The researchers were testing the feelings the children had about the faces. 

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These researchers learned something alarming. Very young children already had opinions about people who were different from them. These opinions are called biases. Researchers learned that by the age of five, children already had biases about skin color. The children in this study gave more negative responses to images of boys with dark skin.

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Researchers from Northwestern University in the United States did a similar study. They found that children as young as four have biases about people’s skin color. They have biases about gender, too. And they have biases about the way people talk!

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These studies show that every person can be affected by bias thoughts or feelings. Even very small children can have harmful opinions and biases. Young children can learn to judge people who are different to them. But where do these children get these ideas? And more importantly, how can we stop these harmful biases in children?

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Today’s Spotlight program is the ninth in a series of ten programs. In this series of programs, we are looking at ten ways to fight hate in your community.

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Hate is powerful enough to destroy people and communities. So the Southern Poverty Law Center in the United States has made this list of ten ways to fight hate in your community. On today’s Spotlight program we will look at the ninth way to fight hate in your community: Teach Acceptance.

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Acceptance means accepting people for who they are. It means tolerating and respecting different opinions and beliefs. The Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, believes that children need to learn acceptance. And they need to learn it when they are very young. Otherwise, they may learn to hate. And studies like the ones at the beginning of this program show that children can learn to hate at a very young age.

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The SPLC says that one very important place to teach tolerance to children is school. School is a place where many different children come together in one place. In school, children talk, laugh and learn with other children.

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There are many ways to encourage children to celebrate differences in school. The SPLC even offers a Teaching Tolerance program. In this program, students take part in a special event every year. It is called Mix It Up at Lunch Day. At this lunch, each student sits next to someone they do not know. They have questions to help them have good conversation. They get the chance to learn things about someone new or different from them.

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Another way to teach acceptance is to have children tell stories about their families. By doing this, children learn about each other’s culture and traditions. They learn to value the different kinds of families that people come from.

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Teachers can also teach tolerance by asking children to imagine what the world would be like if there was no hate. Martin Luther King Jr. was a famous black preacher in the United States. He fought for the rights of black people in the United States in the 1950s and 60s. At that time, black people were kept separate from white people. They did not have equal rights. 

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Martin Luther King Jr. gave a famous speech called “I Have a Dream.” In that speech he talked about his dream for the future. He dreamed that slaves and slave owners would sit together at a table as brothers. He dreamed that one day white children and black children would play together and hold hands peacefully. But most of all, he dreamed of a world where people would not be judged because of their skin color. Instead, they would be judged by their words and actions. 

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Many teachers ask their children to write their own “I Have a Dream” speech. They ask children to imagine a better and more accepting world. Then children write about their hopes for the future.

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Older children and young adults can learn more about tolerance by studying popular media sources like films and television. They can look at how the media presents different races, religions and ethnic groups. They can decide if they agree with the films and television programs. Some films and television programs use stereotypes. That is, they present groups of people as being all the same. People can see the dangers of presenting a group of people using stereotypes.

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These are just a few ways that the SPLC talks about teaching tolerance to children in school. But school is not the only place for children to learn tolerance. The most important place for a child to learn tolerance and acceptance is from adults, like parents and members of their community.

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Every adult is a teacher to children. Children copy the actions and words of adults in the community. You can teach a child tolerance by being a good example for her to follow. Show tolerance for the people you work with or meet in your community. If you are a tolerant adult, your children will be more tolerant too!

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Acceptance is important for people of all ages to learn. You can examine your own thoughts and opinions. Are you tolerant of people who are different to you? Are there people in your community that you avoid, ignore, or try to forget? These things can be just as harmful as treating someone badly. We can all work to be more tolerant people. And that helps us teach tolerance to everyone we know. You can encourage other adults to be tolerant too. Parents can teach tolerance to their children. Teaching tolerance today can help stop hate tomorrow.

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This is the ninth program in a series of 10 programs on 10 ways to fight hate. This list is from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Southern Poverty Law Center is a group that works toward racial justice. They monitor hate crimes, teach tolerance, and seek justice. Here are their 10 ways to fight hate:

Act, Join Forces, Support the Victims, Speak Up, Educate Yourself, Create an Alternative, Pressure Leaders, Stay Engaged, Teach Acceptance, Dig Deeper.

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Keep listening to Spotlight to hear the complete series. You can leave a comment on our website at www.spotlightenglish.com. You can also find us on YouTubeFacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Voice 2

The writers of this program were Liz Waid and Amelia Berglund. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. This program is called: Ten Ways to Fight Hate: Teach Acceptance.

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Visit our website to download our free official app for Android and Apple devices. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question: 

What would your “I Have a Dream” speech sound like?

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