Today the Herbert and Valmae Freilich Project for the Study of Bigotry (Freilich Project) celebrates its twentieth year of continuous operation as part of the Australian National University (ANU).
The original charter, dated 14 July 1999, documents the agreement between Herbert and Valmae Freilich, on the one hand, and the ANU, on the other, to establish an academic research foundation focused on the study of bigotry in all its forms. Ambitious in its scope, this original charter described three objectives for the new Freilich Foundation (as it was then known):
- To fund study and research both within and outside the Australian National University into the causes, histories and the effects of ethnic, cultural, religious or sexual bigotry and animosity;
- To engage in all forms of education of the public into such history, causes and effects of bigotry and intolerance, including the promulgation of arguments, strategies and other resources for the reduction and overcoming of such bigotry and intolerance; and
- To advance all forms of mutual tolerance and respect between peoples of differing ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds and of differing gender and sexual orientation
The mission of the Freilich Project, which has remained substantively unchanged over the past two decades, has always marked the Project as something more than a traditional research centre within a University. Engagement with multiple scholarly disciplines, the "lived experience" of bigotry, the broader community, and organisations beyond the ANU, are all built into the very structure of this unique organisation.
The current staff and advisory board of The Freilich Project thank the Freilich family, past members of the board, speakers, participants, researchers and students of the Project for their valuable contributions to this mission over the past two decades. These contributions will be acknowledged at an Anniversary Reception at University House in September. For details of this and other events and activities, please subscribe to The Freilich Project mailing list by emailing Freilich.Project@anu.edu.au.