Webster Students among ‘HateBrakers’ Honored for Standing up to Hate

| May 20, 2013

The locally headquartered HateBrakers organization is honoring six people who have stood up to hate in their communities, including three Webster University students.

Outstanding Graduate Student


The First Annual HateBrakers Awards Ceremony will take place tonight, May 20, at the Frontenac Hilton at 7 p.m. The awards will honor six HateBraker Heroes, followed by a special performance by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary.

The organization defines hate as a deep dislike or resentment that may involve cruelty and violence. A braker is someone who halts, slows or restrains. Thus a “HateBraker” is someone who “hits the brakes on hate.” They are victims, bystanders and perpetrators who have stopped the cycle of violence in their community.

From bullying victims to those who have witnessed violence in their communities and their homes, HateBrakers from around the St. Louis community are being honored for taking painful experiences and turning them into something educational and inspirational.

The 2013 HateBraker Heroes include:

Suzanne Yatim Aslam, Child Advocate: Suzanne is Palestinian-American and experienced bullying as a child after 9/11. These experiences inspired her to become passionate about Human Rights and children and to study Human Rights at Webster University. She has traveled to Palestine with Christian Peacemaker Teams, an organization that seeks to rectify injustice in non-violent ways.

Annie Kopp, Bullying Braker: After experiencing bullying at Ladue High School, Annie used laughter to help teach others how to stop bullying. She attended a Second City Comedy Camp and developed “Stand Up To Bullying,” a comedy act that helps educators learn how they can help put an end to student bullying in the classroom.

Graie Barasch-Hagans, Educator: Graie grew up in a North St. Louis home affected by addiction and a neighborhood affected by violence. He graduated from Webster University and is now working as a Tutor Facilitator and Parent/Community Engagement Coordinator at a school in New Orleans.

Olive Mukabalisa and Dr. Lawrence Jehling, Genocide Brakers: Olive witnessed her entire family being killed in the Rwandan genocide. She graduated from Webster University with a master’s in International Relations this May, when she was also honored as the Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate Student. She plans to return to Rwanda to help heal both victims and perpetrators.

Jehling is a founder of Clarkson Eyecare and is responsible for moving Olive to St. Louis and helping her continue her education.

Peter Yarrow, Lifetime Achievement: Peter Yarrow is best known as one of the members of the folk music trio Peter, Paul & Mary.  He is also the founder of Operation Respect, a non-profit organization working to assure each child and youth a respectful, safe and compassionate climate of learning where their academic, social and emotional development can take place free of bullying, ridicule and violence. The organization creates and distributes educational resources that are designed to help children from grades 2 through 8 reduce emotional and physical cruelty to each other.

Contact the organization at 314-882-6182 for event information.

The awards are presented by New Conscience, Inc./HateBrakers.org and are sponsored by Webster University’s Institute for Human Rights & Humanitarian Studies. The HateBrakers site at www.hatebrakers.org has several testimonials from HateBrakers, including several Webster students.


Category: Advancement, Alumni, Student Affairs and News

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