Why Teach Tolerance?
Theatre for Social Justice Replaces Hate with Understanding
“Hateful behavior is a learned behavior. My son’s murderers learned from their environment. But loving behavior can also be taught. By working with communities to find creative and positive responses to intolerance and bigotry, Fringe Benefits helps replace hate with understanding.”
Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard
In their Hate Crime Statistics, 2018, the FBI reported 7,120 hate crime incidents involving 8,496 victims. These incidents were motivated by prejudice based on the victims’ race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and/or disability. Nearly 10% of these crimes took place in schools. And the hate and the violence continue.
Fringe Benefits Theatre is dedicated to early hate crime prevention.
We believe that every human being deserves to be treated with dignity, respect and love.
We believe that it is imperative for all of us—and especially marginalized individuals and communities—to come together, listen to each other’s concerns, stories and ideas, and work together to frame our own narratives.
We believe that theatre has the power to open hearts and minds and to be a galvanizing force in the movement for social justice.
Fringe Benefits’ Theatre for Social Justice programs build and strengthen communities and relationships between communities by bringing together diverse individuals and organizations, helping everyone discover common ground, and offering tools and inspiration to develop creative solutions to social justice issues.
Working together, we stand a better chance of being heard and heeded.