The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) has worked for more than four decades to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and youth.
More than ten years ago, NCYL needed a poster to put in courtrooms and foster care offices to reassure clients that they had the right to feel safe and protected, and that hatred of any kind was not welcome there. The main message of the poster needed to be instantly readable, and the poster as a whole as inclusive as possible.
A lead attorney at NCYL and I came up with an extensive list of types of people deserving of protection, reflecting the diversity of their clientele. We distilled down the central message to a statement that the safe space was a “hate free zone” for all people. The poster was also translated into Spanish, and the wording recently updated to change ‘latino’ to ‘latinx’ and add ‘non-binary,’ among other alterations.
Over the past ten years, the poster has been reprinted in various formats for the Out of Home Youth Advocacy Council (San Francisco), the YWCA of Silicon Valley’s Social and Racial Justice Program, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (San Francisco), the ACLU of Southern California, the Los Angeles Affiliate of the National Counsel for Children, and many other organizations nationwide. The phrase ‘Hate Free Zone’ was recently called out as an example of ‘news hooks and catchy phrases’ in a ‘Ten Ways to Fight Community Hate’ publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center (under ‘Dealing with the Media’)—I’m hoping that’s us!
In these dark times, I’m making the poster available at no cost.
Please download the English- and/or Spanish-language versions and put them anywhere you think they might help—your work, classroom, or community. Anywhere you want people to feel a little safer. There’s room at the bottom for you to add contact information or another message. (Just make sure my copyright information stays on them.) Click on the links to download the PDFs. Right-click (Control-click) the JPG images below to ‘Save As.’ If you need other sizes of the PDFs, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hate Free Zone 8.5×11 English – PDF
- Hate Free Zone 8.5×11 Spanish – PDF
- Hate Free Zone 11×17 English – PDF
- Hate Free Zone 11×17 Spanish – PDF