Abington raises funds, awareness of child abuse, violence, hate

Penn State Abington has made an ongoing commitment to raise awareness and to provide education about violence, abuse and bigotry directed at children and all members of our society. During the month of April, Abington will reinforce its efforts with a series of events.

A Place To Talk (APTT), the Abington peer counseling service, is raising funds to benefit Mission Kids, the Montgomery County child advocacy organization.The Mission Kids team responds to abuse allegations by interviewing alleged victims and developing investigation and intervention strategies. Countywide, the district attorney’s office, police departments and the Office of Children and Youth all have pledged to coordinate prosecution of the abuse cases addressed by Mission Kids. To donate to Mission Kids through APTT, contact Director of Health Services Donna Monk at [email protected].

This fundraising effort kicked off with a dialogue among Abington students, faculty and staff; Abbie Newman, executive director of Mission Kids; and retired teacher Louisa Abney Babcock, who shared her personal story of abuse.

Abington became the first college campus in the nation to be named a No Place for Hate campus by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in 2006. On Monday, April 9, representatives from the ADL will recertify Abington as a No Place for Hate campus for the seventh consecutive year. Anti-bullying and anti-bias projects supplemented by policies that emphasize inclusion have been vital to Abington’s continued development as a No Place for Hate campus.

The recertification launches a week of No Place for Hate events including the innovative Bricks of Hate project. Students will inscribe cardboard bricks with words that depict violence and bigotry and then build a wall with them. On Thursday, April 12, the students will tear down the wall of hate.

Another on-campus event features the historical drama "Unbinding Our Lives," which tells the stories of three real Chinese women in the 1800s who suffered abuse at the hands of their families and others and who were sold into prostitution and slavery. The one-woman play starring actress Christina Chan will be staged at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in the Sutherland Auditorium. For more information, go to www.abington.psu.edu/CA.

Other No Place for Hate events this month include a visit from a Holocaust survivor and a screening of the film "Anatomy of Hate."