Medford, Ore. — A Medford organization says hate speech is on the rise in Southern Oregon.
Now it’s trying to help people develop skills to step in when witnessing bullying.
The purpose of the event is to teach people how to respond in a non-violent manner when someone is being bullied.
Dozens of people came together Monday night with one goal – stopping hate.
“Hate speech, harassment, hate crime, graffiti,” Resolve training and outreach coordinator Isleen Glatt said.
The event known as “Interrupting Hate in Public Spaces” was held by an organization called Resolve which focuses on peace, justice and trying to bridge many different kinds of people together.
“There’s so many in this community that the vast majority of people don’t agree with hate speech and harassment and violence, but don’t have the skills to intervene,” Glatt said.
Gold Hill resident George Jarvis says he went to the event to learn how to peacefully stand with anyone who is being targeted.
“You can do something about it without using violence and without threatening people,” Jarvis said.
Jarvis says there’s a difference between acting in love and acting in fear.
He says he’s passionate about the topic because he knows anger, judgment and hatred will not bring peace.
“That just divides the country, divides the people, divides towns, cities…” Jarvis said.
And while he knows the answer isn’t necessarily easy, he’s thankful to be walking out with some new skills.
“Hopefully we can all get along… learn to love and peace and all that kind of stuff,” Jarvis said.
Resolve will be holding another workshop Tuesday at Southern Oregon University at 5:30.