Gonzaga University Institute For Hate Studies Announces Lassman Take Action Against Hate Awards

A headshot of Eva Lassman, Holocaust Survivor and long-time Hate Studies educator.
The Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies honors Eva Lassman's legacy with several awards.

October 20, 2021

Leaders of the Asian Pacific Island Coalition of Spokane and an Irish university’s center focusing on hate are the winners of this year’s Eva Lassman “Take Action Against Hate” Awards presented by the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies.

The individual award recipients are Rowena Pineda and Pui-Yan Lam, immediate-past co-chairs of the Spokane coalition. The pair “worked to build a team of energetic, talented and progressive folks to work in solidarity with our local communities of color for our collective civil and human rights,” wrote nominator Ryann Louie.

Another nominator, Tia Moua, echoed Louie.

“(They) guided me to see the importance of coalition-building, multiracial solidarity, lobbying and activism work, and cooperation with other anti-racist organizations,” Moua wrote. “Ever since I joined APIC, I saw their clear passion and commitment to serving our community, especially the Asian American and Pacific Island communities.”

The organizational award recipient is the Limerick University European Centre for the Study of Hate, whose purpose is to understand hate that excludes and divides communities and to provide tools to respond to hate effectively. Its co-directors, Amanda Haynes and Jennifer Schweppe, lead the center in addressing a range of issues from individual prejudice to community impact to structural and legal matters. Haynes is a senior lecturer in sociology; Schweppe is a senior lecturer in law.

Eva Lassman was a Holocaust survivor and longtime community educator. For more than five decades, Lassman stood both as witness and advocate for human dignity, respect and perseverance in the Inland Northwest. She dedicated most of her adult life to the “personal obligation” that came with her survival of the Holocaust – giving testimony to the atrocities she witnessed and inspiring others to take action against hate. The annual awards recognize those who have followed in her footsteps and made a significant difference in their community.

Eva Lassman Take Action Against Hate Award recipients for 2020 were Leslie McAuley, for her work coordinating the Reconciliation Calling Community, and the Spokane Human Rights Task Force.
Recipients of both the Take Action Against Hate Awards and Human Rights Champion Awards, the latter sponsored by the Spokane Human Rights Task Force and the Spokane Human Rights Commission, will be recognized as part of a livestreamed event at the close of Gonzaga’s sixth International Conference on Hate Studies. The theme of the conference, held virtually this year Nov. 4-6, is “Justice and Equity: Challenging Hate and Inspiring Hope.”

A detailed schedule for the conference and registration information can be found here.

In spring 2021, Gonzaga honored Lassman’s legacy through student research awards. Winners were Sharon Jang, “Increasing Anti-Asian Hate Crimes: The Experiences of Asian and Asian-American Students Attending Gonzaga University During the COVID-19 Pandemic” (first place); Shane Fugate, “Food Accessibility at Gonzaga University” (honorable mention); and Emma Wood, “The Alt-Right Pipeline: Political Radicalization during the Internet Era” (honorable mention).