On September 21, 2001, life irrevocably changed for Rais Bhuiyan. A young Bangladeshi student exploring the American dream, Rais recently moved from New York to Dallas, when he became the victim of a brutal post 9/11 hate crime. Narrowly surviving being gunned down by a white supremacist on a revenge shooting spree, Rais’ American dream turned nightmare.
After hitting rock bottom, Rais used that bottom as a solid foundation to rebuild his life and keep his deathbed promise to help make a difference for others. It will soon be 19 years since the shooting and 9 since Rais led an international campaign to try and save his attacker from death row. Over the last 8 years, through the non-profit, he founded, Rais has dedicated his life to ending the cycle of hate and violence by sharing his story and empathy education programming. To date, through World Without Hate, Rais has visited and worked with more than 200,000 people from around the world. From classrooms and college campuses, to maximum security prisons, refugee camps, religious institutions, to town halls and conferences.
This work is difficult. With such divisiveness, intolerance, and fear dividing our communities and our nation this work is harder than ever before. It is vitally important, however. Fear can fuel hate and if left unchecked, can lead to violence, and even death. No one should be the victim of hate, violence, or senseless loss of life.