The Northstar Center announced that for the entire month of April it will feature the photographs of Todd A. Heywood. The photos have been taken over the course of the last decade and document a variety of hate groups and hate ideologies, from Neo-Nazis in Jackson to Terry Jones the Koran burning Florida pastor to anti-gay activists.
“I have thousands of photos and videos from hate groups from around the state,” said Heywood. “But I kept thinking ‘What good are they doing on a hard drive in my office?’ Part of fostering a conversation about hate is also putting images in the public’s mind about what hate looks like. And I can tell you, it isn’t always as easy to identify as one might think.”
Heywood began writing about anti-gay and other hate groups in the early 1990s while at Lansing Community College. His investigative reporting has been instrumental in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s listing of two Michigan organizations as hate groups in their annual hate map. The first group was Young Americans for Freedom at Michigan State University which was listed in 2007, becoming the first university recognized and supported hate group in the Center’s history. More recently, Heywood helped to uncover and identify a new Neo-Nazi group, Battalion 14, in Jackson.
“These images are powerful because they remind us how present hate and bigotry are in our world,” said David Mitchell of Northstar Center. “We need to see these images, and to be informed. Ignoring racists and outright fascists, only gives them room to grow.”
The images on display include photos from the Aug. 4, 2007 “Rally Against Black Crime” in Kalamazoo, several events sponsored by Young Americans for Freedom at Michigan State University, photos of various anti-gay leaders, and images of anti-gay protesters at the annual gay pride event in Lansing.
Heywood is currently Senior Reporter for the American Independent. The American Independent is a publication of the non-profit news group The American Independent News Network. The photos in the exhibit are the result of Heywood’s work for The American Independent News Network, Between The Lines Newspaper and YAF Watch.
Northstar Center is located at 106 Lathrop Street. The display will continue to hang through the month of April. For times, visit Northstar on the web: http://northstarcenter.net