Former Westboro member to speak on overcoming hate

A former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, Megan Phelps-Roger will give a presentation entitled, “Empathy for the Other Side: Dialogue that Overcomes Hate, Makes Connections and Changes Minds” at 7 p.m. March 29 at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St.

The event is free and open to the public, and it is hosted by Lycoming College, Pennsylvania College of Technology and AIDS Resource.

Phelps-Roger was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church, which often has received national attention for its message of intolerance against many other groups, including the military and the LGBTQ community.

“She is the granddaughter of the late Fred Phelps Sr., former pastor and founder of the church, and the daughter of Shirley Phelps, one of the church’s more prominent and outspoken figures,” according to a press release.

She left the church in 2012 and, since leaving, she has been outspoken about empathy, compassion and understanding.

Her TED Talk, titled “I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here’s why I left,” was one of the top 10 most popular talks of 2017, according to the press release.

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