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Boise State Team Takes First Place in “Innovate Against Hate” Competition in Washington, D.C.

Photo of Students at Washington Monument A student team from Boise State took first prize in the “Innovate Against Hate” competition sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League. The competition challenged students to respond to hate and extremism with innovative use of new and existing technologies.

Boise State’s project was selected as one of three finalists from 19 participating universities across the nation. Finalists were invited to Washington, D.C. to give presentations and answer questions from panel of expert judges from Human Rights organizations, religious groups and corporations. Finalists also visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The Boise State team of Andrew Castro, Sydney Skidmore, Abby Wood and Janice Witherspoon addressed domestic violence, sexism and extremism in their project SAME (Students Against Misogynistic Establishments).

Skidmore said the project helped her understand how widespread and pervasive the problem of misogyny is. “This experience has inspired me to further my work in advocacy and speak up so no one has to ever feel alone.”

First prize was an award of $5,000. Team member Andrew Castro noted that the team is looking to create a more comprehensive approach to targeting violent misogyny. “I think the competition has inspired us to go even further with our campaign,” said Castro.

The SAME project is a service learning component of Political Science 306 taught by Isaac Castellano. Team member Janice Witherspoon credits the course as a factor in the project’s success.

Photo of students winning award“We are asked often times in political science to look at a problem, historical and current, and answer how we would approach it. The development of this skill was imperative to our campaign’s success and eventual victory in D.C.,” said Witherspoon.

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