"It's almost human nature to divide folks into us and them," explains Hoke Gardner to his teenaged neighbor Boady Sanden in Nothing More Dangerous, the 2021 Capital READ. But what happens when the natural human tendency to divide is exploited by adults looking to recruit and radicalize our youth during an era of converging social crises? Extremists are seeking to use "hot-button" issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests in ways that threaten the cohesion of American society. Other issues, including the sexual harassment of women revealed by the Me Too Movement and legislation forbidding critical discussion in schools of race and racism, heighten the risk of division and increase the risk of societal violence.
Dr. Avila Hendricks, professor of education at Lincoln University, will use Nothing More Dangerous to point out the vulnerabilities that make some youth more susceptible to hate group rhetoric or recruitment. Her presentation will conclude with practical advice to parents and teachers on how to talk to children and teens about acts of violence and the issues of radicalization and extremism.