HateBusters was formed in 1988 by Ed Chasteen’s Race and Ethnic Relations class at William Jewell College. During this time, a KKK member was recently elected to the Louisiana State Legislature. HateBusters responded to this event, at the request of the governor. Immediately following this occurrence, the group received invitations from government and religious leaders, prisons, police, public school and universities, from all over the country. HateBusters Inc. eventually became a 501 C-3 non-profit, focusing on “Greater Liberty,” a 125-mile radius surrounding Liberty, Missouri. The term, “Greater Liberty” also stood for a principle, the greater liberty to live beyond the binaries of things which divide us.[1]

The HateBusters mission is twofold: to respond to, and prevent, hate. The organization contacts victims of hate and responds to their needs. They also published a book, How to Like People Who Are Not Like You, which is offered to the public free of charge, and taught in schools, religious and community settings. HateBusters is operated by an all-volunteer staff and does not adhere to a specific organizational structure. For over a decade, HateBusters has connected members of Second Baptist Church with adherents of other religions at Table of Faiths. Participants are paired off and provided with seven sets of questions, which they discuss during seven online conversations. At the end of the process, participants write a life story of their pair, using the information provided during the online chats. All pairs are invited to the Human Family Reunion at William Jewell College, where they speak for three minutes as their pair. It is unlikely these participants would have met otherwise, even though they live nearby. As Ed Chasteen states, “To meet every person we can and expect to like every person we meet and to help others do the same: This is our goal.”[2]

 [1] Chasteen, Ed, interview by Geneva Blackmer. 2019. HateBusters (February 20).

[2] Ibid.