McCormack performs 'Hate Speech & Love Songs'
"The most moving and powerful program I've ever seen."
That's how one audience member describes "Hate Speech & Love Songs," an innovative program created by award-winning songwriter and performer, Tom McCormack.
McCormack will bring his show to NIU's campus Monday, April 26, at 8pm in Diversions Lounge of the Holmes Student Center.
"Hate Speech & Love Songs" combines music and personal storytelling with a frank discussion of homophobia and hate to create a presentation that is both entertaining and provocative.
McCormack engages audience members in an honest presentation of issues that encourages openness and discussion.
With last fall's brutal murder of openly gay Wyoming college student, Matthew Shepard, still fresh in people's memories, there is increasing awareness of the chilling rise in hate crimes and bias attacks on gay and lesbian people nationwide.
McCormack's program attempts to address fears, which are often the starting point for hate, and to foster understanding of gay people and the issues that affect their lives.
"Hate Speech & Love Songs" was commissioned by Rivier College, a small, conservative Catholic college in New Hampshire, as part of its Peace & Social Justice Series.
Since March 1997, the program has been presented at colleges across the country, ranging from small religious-affiliated institutions to large state universities. It has been hailed by students, staff, faculty and community members alike, as well as the press.
One audience member stated, "Your aura of caring spirituality made your talk and lyrics universal to anyone dealing with personal growth and painful issues."
Another listener said, "The audience was deeply and genuinely moved. You struck a lot of nerves, you opened a lot of eyes, and you opened a lot of hearts."
McCormack's appearance at NIU is sponsored by Prism, the Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation, and Unity in Diversity Steering Committee.
April 21, 1999