"Healing hate for a better quality of life" will be
the topic for this year's UTC PERSPECTIVES 2003: The Raymond B.
Witt Lecture Series, to be held January 21-24.
The first featured speaker will be Brent Scarpo, who co-produced
a powerful documentary called "Journey to a Hate Free Millennium."
It features interviews conducted with family and friends of those
murdered during hate crimes, such as Matthew Shepard in Wyoming,
whose body was left hanging on a fence; dragging victim James Byrd
of Jasper, Texas; the students of Columbine High School and Holocaust
Brent Scarpo has over ten years of experience as a producer, writer,
director, and casting director in Hollywood. Scarpo directed and
produced the award-winning documentary film "Journey to a Hate
Free Millennium." This film provides enlightenment as to why
hate crimes exist, and more importantly, how hate can be eliminated
in the new millennium.
"This documentary was created so that we can face and manage
our challenges without having to resort to violence," said
In 1998, Scarpo founded New Light Media, a non-profit organization
dedicated to stimulating, educating, and impacting the world through
multimedia works that celebrate and honor the human spirit. As
the founder of New Light Media, Scarpo continues to develop and
present diverse subject matters with positive messages to our world
through film and television projects, books, special presentations,
exhibits, and motivational speaking events.
Prior to the founding of New Light Media, Scarpo served as a casting
director for six years, casting motion pictures, television projects,
commercials, infomercials, and many more. He has worked on such
films as THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THAT THING YOU DO, and AIRFORCE
ONE. Scarpo wrote and was featured on the Christmas Special, CHRISTMAS
MIRACLES for ABC. In 1998 he produced, directed, and starred in
a theatrical production of the play, THE BOYS NEXT DOOR.
Currently, Scarpo is producing and presenting motivational speaking
and diversity training events at college campuses, organizations,
executive conferences, and major corporations across the country.
There will be an opportunity to watch the documentary in its entirety
in Fletcher 114 on Tuesday, January 21, 8 p.m. and Friday, January
24 at 1 p.m. Scarpo will show clips of the documentary and lecture
on Wednesday, January 22 at 2 p.m. in Patten Chapel and again at
8 p.m. the Roland Hayes Concert Hall.
The second featured speaker will be Morris Dees of the Southern
Poverty Law Center in Montgomery , AL will provide the lecture "With
Justice for All."
Before the passengers of American Flight 93 made a final decision
to rush the cockpit, the passengers took a vote. "This simple
act separates us from the terrorists," Dees said.
According to Dees, "The ultimate fate of our justice system
depends on honoring each individual. The strongest guard against
terrorism is not military might. It is instead a justice system
that upholds our cherished freedoms of speech, fair treatment and
due process. Demagogues and terrorists cannot thrive in a free
society. All our people must not only have a place at America's
table, but also the opportunity to build that table itself. John
Adams represented the despised British Redcoats in the Boston massacre
criminal prosecution because, as he later said, he wanted the law,
not the mob, to rule the colonies."
Morris Dees will address how our commitment to justice for all
will determine our nation's success in the 21st century as America
becomes more diverse and economic disparity widens.
He will also talk about how and why he became an attorney and
founded the SPLC and discuss some of his more prominent cases, and
he will touch on hate crimes and the need to teach tolerance, love
and respect for one another.
Beginning in 1967, Dees began taking controversial cases that were
highly unpopular in the white community. He continued to pursue
equal opportunities for minorities and the poor, and along with
his partner saw the need for a non-profit organization dedicated
to seeking justice, which grew into the Southern Poverty Law Center.
He devotes his time to suing violent white supremacist groups and
developing ideas for Teaching Tolerance, the Center's education
project. The Center provides free its magazine, Teaching Tolerance,
to over 600,000 educators and its series of video and tolerance
education kits to over 75,000 schools across the nation. A made-for-television
movie about Morris Dees' life, Line of Fire, aired on NBC.
Actor Corbin Bernson portrayed Dees in the film. In Ghosts of
the Mississippi, a feature film about the life of slain civil
rights worker, Medgar Evers, he was portrayed by actor Wayne Rogers.
Dees will speak on Thursday, January 23 at 12:15 p.m. in Patten
Finally, a diverse student discussion panel is scheduled to be
held on Friday, January 24 at 11 a.m. in Fletcher 114.
Parking for day time events is available at Engel Stadium, where
the free CARTA shuttle service is available. The Lupton Library
parking garage is available for Brent Scarpo's night lecture at
the Roland Hayes Concert Hall, UTC Fine Arts Center.
Please plan to attend these events. They are free and open to