Against Hate

Inclusivity will take center stage tomorrow at the No Place for Hate assembly.


photo by Julia Poppa

The No Place for Hate Committee met in the library on Tuesday to finalize plans for Thursday’s assembly, which aims to draw attention to issues of prejudice and hate crimes.

On October 27, 2018, the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill, a mere half-hour’s drive from NASH, fell victim to a horrific mass shooting.  The attack was one of 7,210 hate crimes that occurred in the U.S. last year.

As devastating as that statistic is, communities around Pittsburgh and the nation at large have not lost their resolve in the battle against hate.  Tomorrow’s No Place for Hate assembly in the auditorium is a case in point.

“There needs to be change in the school so everyone feels welcome,” said Ella Adelman, a Multicultural Student Union committee member who has taken a lead role in directing the assembly.

NASH is starting a chapter of No Place for Hate to help eliminate and bring awareness to hate-related issues within the walls of NA and in the surrounding community. The Anti-Defamation League sponsors the initiative, and the organization’s website offers a call to action on the part of American schools.

If someone is your community does not feel safe or welcome, there must be something in the community that is not working right.

— Marissa Rodriguez, MSU member

“With public displays of hate on the rise,” the site reads, “it is more important than ever for schools to commit to programs that clearly define expectations in behavior for all members of the community. Whether you are a student, educator, or family member, you have a role to play in combating bias and bullying as a means to stop the escalation of hate.”

MSU adviser Mr. Bishop has accepted the call at North Allegheny. Tomorrow’s school-wide event, held during periods 2, 3 and 4, is largely the result of his vision to bring about meaningful change at the local level.

“Everyone gets more of an appreciation for what people are experiencing and how, in the broader community of Pittsburgh, people are dealing with issues related to hate,” Bishop said. “We also hope to develop a better sense of things we can do individually and collectively to try to make our world and school inclusive.”

Bishop and his team of MSU students will host a guest panel of community members of different ethnicities to offer a closer look at racism and other forms of hate. The panel will represent the African-American, Jewish, Hispanic, Native American, and Somali Bantu communities of Pittsburgh. Following the panel discussion, NASH students will share their experiences, ranging from what they’ve witnessed in the halls to personal encounters they’ve had with hate.


“It’s important for people to listen to and understand what is happening at NASH,” said senior Antonio Thedy, an MSU member.  “The assembly intends to show real stories from students here.”

Months of planning have gone into this event. A committee of teachers, parents, and students have been meeting regularly since October to coordinate the details of the two-hour assembly.

“It’s been two months of meetings, weekly or bi-weekly, and collaborations with student, parents and administrators,” Bishop said.  “In the beginning, I had no idea that the event would become as big as it is.”

Later this school year, every student in the school will be asked to sign a pledge to work to reduce hate. MSU’s hope is that the combination of the assembly and the pledge will underscore the need for greater inclusivity in the North Allegheny community.

“If someone is your community does not feel safe or welcome, there must be something in the community that is not working right,” said MSU committee member Marissa Rodriguez.

The No Place for Hate assembly is open to all students.  For those who cannot attend and wish to learn more, MSU meets on Thursdays during all lunch periods in the auditorium foyer and welcomes all interested students and staff members.