Two leading University of Limerick academics have accepted a prestigious award from an American university for their work against hate.
Professor Amanda Haynes and Dr Jennifer Schweppe recently accepted the Eva Lassman Take Action Against Hate Award by Gonzaga University in Washington State, on behalf the European Centre for the Study of Hate at UL, of which they are co-directors.
In the citation for the award, the judging panel said the centre was nominated for this award “in recognition of its commitment to understanding and countering hatred on an individual, community and global scale”.
The institution’s work, including research, policy and practice, was hailed as evident through such initiatives as the Call it Out campaign, engagement with the Coalition Against Hate Crime Ireland, and publications such as Alternative Report on Hate Crimes and Related Issues.
“Such outcomes stand as significant contributions within the discipline of hate studies, as well as inspiring examples of how knowledge can be paired with action to challenge hate towards those who are marginalised,” said the judges.
Professor Haynes and Dr Schweppe accepted the Take Action Against Hate award for the organisational category on behalf of the Centre in a recent virtual ceremony.
“It is such a huge honour for the European Centre for the Study of Hate at the University of Limerick to receive this award,” said Professor Haynes, an associate professor of sociology at UL.
“Here at the ECSH, we believe that good scholarship is scholarship with impact, that changes people’s lives for the better, and that is co-produced with people – like Dr Lassman, who have direct experience of the harms of hate and with the civil society organisations that represent them. For this reason, we are absolutely delighted and privileged to accept this award,” Professor Haynes added.
Dr Schweppe, a senior lecturer in law at UL, said: “We have admired the work of the Institute for many years, and our own Centre mirrors that of the Gonzaga Institute in many ways.
“Taking an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the hate that divides, as well as exploring means by which that hate can be countered and challenged is core to the work of both the Institute and the Centre.
“Our research, which centres communities impacted by hate crime, produces scholarly work with policy and practice application,” Dr Schweppe added.
The UL academics requested that Gonzaga would “use the money associated with the Eva Lassman award as a bursary for a Native American student to support their studies”.
“We hope that this bursary will provide some assistance to an emerging scholar to lead the next generation of researchers in challenging hate,” added Professor Haynes.