Sunday, November 12, 2017, No Hate Week was kickstarted by a march through campus. The “Love for the Cultural-March was set to start at 3pm but didn’t begin until about 3:30.
The march was preceded by some speeches and a performance by representatives of the BU Gospel Choir on the steps of Carver Hall. Marcei Woods, the coordinator of Cultural Affairs, started the afternoon by thanking those who showed up to participate in the event. Woods extended a special thank you to Vincent Phan, one of the founders of No Hate Week.
This year marks the week’s third run. Phan is a senior Digital Forensics major here at Bloomsburg University. “Basically, what we do is, every year we come together and have the student body and community come together and just have a week of looking beyond what’s just at the surface of what you look like,” says Phan. “Showing no hate, showing more love towards one another.” Phan works with diverse groups on campus such as SOL, BU Gospel Choir and Multicultural Greeks to put together the events and programs that will be held during the week.
As a student heavily involved in campus groups and activities, Phan has been able to bring support for No Hate Week from a variety of campus clubs and associations. “My goal for this march is hopefully have some students come out and be inspired or motivated to speak out more and speak to people who might more or less not look like them,” says Phan. As Phan gets ready to graduate he wants BU Students to know that No Hate Week is for everyone, and the community should come together and show more love to everyone who lives in it.
Angela (Ange) Montaño is another important student involved in No Hate Week. Montaño is a junior Secondary Education major with a concentration in English and Spanish minor. Montaño was a freshman when the first No Hate Week march happened on campus. She participated in the events and fell in love with the idea of spreading love and ending stereotypes. Since then she has continued to participate in No Hate Week. She is now the president of SOL, the Student Organization of Latinos. “I feel like we all collaborate really well. We are on positions whether it be SOL or BCS or Impact… and we just come together and try to support one another. The role that we play is to bring that unity,” says Montaño.
This year Montaño was asked to be a speaker at the end of the march. During her speech, she discussed the current political atmosphere and how it related to people of color. Montaño touched on DACA and the Dreamers and encouraged the audience to make them feel comfortable in their community.
Being a child of immigrants these topics hit home with Montaño and fueled her words, “This is the land of the free supposedly and we have to be able to have opening arms and everything like that.” Montaño went on to say, “…this is the land of opportunity, so why not allow people who are trying to escape dangerous environments in their own countries to come here and try to pursue a better life.”
The march began at Carver hall then walked up through campus going past Elwell and ended at the fountain on the quad. As the group marched they chanted, “No hate, no hate, no hate, only love!” Phan, Montaño and CGA president Joar Dahn spook to the marchers and continued to encourage the spread of love.