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    March 03, 2019
    The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) has joined the Saint Vincent Criminology Department as co-sponsor of the upcoming symposium entitled “The Face of Hate: The Investigation and Prosecution of Hate Crimes” at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, in the Fred M. Rogers Center.
    The symposium is free and open to the public. Reservations are strongly encouraged, and can be made by contacting Sandy Frye at 724-805-2670, or sandra.frye@stvincent.edu.
    Featured speakers at the event will include Nathan Williams, Assistant United States Attorney and Dr. Robin Valeri, professor of psychology at St. Bonaventure University. Renee Martin, director of communications for the PHRC, will help direct the public discussion portion of the program.
    Williams, along with a team of Department of Justice attorneys, successfully prosecuted Dylann Roof for the June 17, 2015, race-related murder of nine parishioners during a church Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina. The trial was the first capital prosecution of a federal hate crime, and the jury recommended death for Roof on Jan.10, 2017. For his work on the case, Williams was awarded the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award.
    Valeri will discuss the phenomenon of cyber hate with a focus on online anti-Semitism. She is the editor of two recent books analyzing this area, including “Hate Crimes: Typology, Motivations and Victims” and “Terrorism in America.” She holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from Syracuse University and undergraduate degrees in psychology and economics from Cornell University.
    Martin serves as director of communications for the PHRC, which was created and directed by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and Pennsylvania Equal Education Opportunity Act. The PHRC strives to promote equal opportunity for all and enforces the state’s civil rights laws that protect people from unlawful discrimination. The PHRC realizes the importance of education on the matter, and has embarked on a number of new initiatives, including the formation of a diversity and justice committee, the creation of a racial tension reduction response team, a townhall series entitled “No Hate in Our State” and a lecture series dedicated to social justice.
    Questions or requests for further information on the symposium can be directed to Bruce Antkowiak, chair of the Criminology Department and head counsel for Saint Vincent College and Archabbey, atbruce.antkowiak@stvincent.edu.
    Briana Tomack, President