Storytelling school

Hoover wins grant for human rights storytelling project

April 22, 2022

Gonzaga University Press Service

SPOKANE, Wash. – A digital resource for community members and story teachers about who we are in the Pacific Northwest, focused on cultural communities and human rights organizations, received a boost from the Kootenai County Human Relations Task Force.

Kristine Hoover, director of the Center for the Study of Hatred at Gonzaga University, received a $7,960 grant to pursue PNW MOSAIC, which began with a leadership studies class in the summer 2021. Project stories will include material for community conversations and classroom teaching strategies. focusing on the people and places of the Northwest.

The name MOSAIC is both a metaphor and an acronym for Mapping Othering, Strength and Allyship In Community.

“Just as a mosaic builds on individual tiles to form a larger whole, the PNW MOSAIC website will be a living project with more stories and educational content expanding over time,” Hoover said.

The idea was born with Spokane community members Leslie McAuley along with fellow community members Logan Camporeale, Ryann Louie, Fernanda Mazco and Bob Bartlett. The Gonzaga faculty and staff involved were Hoover; history professor Ray Rast; Luke Lavin, director of campus ministry; and Wendy Thompson, director of the Office of Tribal Relations.

The concept comes from the “Journey to Mosaic”, an interactive experience held in communities across the United States in which participants from diverse backgrounds explore multicultural stories through the lens of “Sankofa”, a mythical flying bird forward while looking back with an egg. – symbolizing the future – in his mouth.

Hoover said the effort emerges from decades of work in the Northwest.

“Building on the lessons we learned from the Kootenai County Human Relations Task Force, which has continued to bring community members together for the past 40 years, the PNW MOSAIC is another way cultural communities, human rights groups and higher education will be able to share historical and contemporary stories of life in the North West related to social justice and greater inclusion,” a- she declared.

“Telling more complete stories acknowledges and acknowledges the realities of our past and celebrates our resilience and togetherness.”

The Coeur d’Alene-based task force said the grant was to help combat “a growing regional and national movement to attack and eliminate curricula and teaching of basic democratic principles in primary and higher education.”

The grant contemplates initial stories about the work of human rights groups and cultural communities primarily in Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, and Spokane counties, and in relation to the Montana Human Rights Network.

After a pedagogical needs assessment for the stories and teaching materials, two graduate assistants will be hired in August to complete 24 stories with teaching materials for secondary, college and community education, in collaboration with the Office of Pedagogy of Hope from the Gonzaga School of Education.

The launch of the PNW MOSAIC website is planned for January, with follow-up and evaluation. A final report on grant results will be submitted in May.

The class behind the project, Strategies to Counter Hate, should be involved in future phases.

Initial stories developed for the storytelling project included a focus on Spokane’s Best Asian Market and the Lorraine Building, which houses the Association of Hispanic Business Professionals and others.

Learn more about Gonzaga University’s Institute for Hate Studies.