Governor Bruce Rauner announced today the State of Illinois will work with the Simon Wiesenthal Center to expand anti-hate education to Illinois students. This is part of Governor Rauner’s efforts to combat anti-Semitism and other hate crimes in Illinois.
“As Simon Wiesenthal and others frequently said, ‘For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.’ We’re here because we’re doing something. Illinois will not stay silent in the face of hate, bigotry and persecution,” Governor Rauner said. “Illinois is a leader in anti-hate education, and we will work with organizations like the Simon Wiesenthal Center to continue to lead by example.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center today presented Governor Bruce Rauner with its 2017 Digital Terrorism and Hate Report at the State Capitol. He is the first Midwestern governor to be presented with the report.
"The Simon Wiesenthal Center is grateful for Governor Rauner taking a leadership position today, in supporting our ongoing efforts to combat racism, anti-Semitism and extremism, especially on social media." said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization, and founder of the Digital Hate and Terrorism Project, twenty two years ago. "The Simon Wiesenthal Center's Midwest Director, Alison Pure-Slovin, has already begun to train facilitators for our new Students Tools for Tolerance program that will empower young people to deal with the tsunami of online hate. We look forward to working with Governor Rauner and Secretary of Education Beth Purvis to educate our children on the perils of social media.”
Earlier this month, Governor Rauner unveiled a four-part initiative to combat the rise in anti-Semitism and hate crimes both in Illinois and around the country. His directives include:
- Strengthening Illinois’ hate crime law to prevent and prosecute hate crimes targeting specific religions
- Improving law enforcement training to properly identify, investigate and prosecute hate crimes
- Expanding K-12 education to combat hate
- Prohibiting state contracts with companies that boycott Israel