Government

Press Releases

New Jersey Citizens Tackle the Rising Tide of Hate

No Hate Town Hall Panelists & Presenters Credits: Kean University

Did you know that 1,094 hate incidents were reported to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) one month after the US presidential election? That the majority of these incidents took place in K-12 classrooms? That immigrant, Black, Muslim, and LGBTQ people were the top targets? Hate is not restricted to individual acts – it spreads through words, fear, intimidation, and exclusion.

These are just a few of the findings shared during the American Conference on Diversity’s inaugural No Hate Town Hall held earlier this month at Kean University. From corporate diversity officers and community advocates to faith leaders, educators, and nonprofit directors, nearly 200 people filed into the school’s STEM building auditorium to learn from social justice leaders about how to fight the rising tide of hate unleashed on our communities since Nov. 8.

During the two-hour Town Hall, panelists addressed questions on the definition and history of hate and how it manifests today; the criteria used to label a hate group; the connection between economic struggles and racial hatred; how crimes against people with physical, developmental, and/or emotional disabilities fit into the conversation on hate; and what educators can do to combat hate and teach inclusion.

Sign Up for E-News

Sponsored by Prudential Financial, New Jersey Resources, and Investors Bank, the event opened with an exhibitor showcase of the following organizations that provided action-taking resources: The Alliance Center for Independence, American Conference on Diversity, CAIR New Jersey, GLSEN Central New Jersey, Kean University, and NJ ING.

The Town Hall discussions were kicked off by the American Conference on Diversity President and CEO Elizabeth Williams-Riley and Board of Trustees Co-Chair and New Jersey Natural Resources Customer/Community Relations Director Tom Hayes, who introduced the keynote speaker Lecia Brooks, Director of Outreach at SPLC. Sharing analysis from the organization’s self-reported hate-incident database, Ms. Brooks said: “What we found is that people became emboldened by Trump’s victory and felt they could act out their bias and bigotry.” New Jersey, which ranks number four nationally for the highest number of hate groups, saw an uptick in hate incidents against people of Muslim and Jewish faith.

This though-provoking presentation was followed by the “Rising Tide of Hate!” panel discussion facilitated by Dr. Matthew Maddex, Instructor and Debate Coach at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information. The panelists included Civil Rights Attorney Alan Dexter Bowman, Esq., Black Lives Matter Paterson chapter member Alexis Miller, Ms. Brooks, and Rutgers University School of Communication and Information Professor Mary Chayko. They discussed everything from the history of racism and its origin (fear) to the current proliferation of fake news.

Dr. Chayko warned the audience of the potential spread of misinformation on social media and the Internet to serve hate-filled agendas. “Digital media is fueling hate and negativity,” she said. “But we can also use it to drive face-to-face understanding.”

“Dylann Roof was radicalized online through the use of racist ideology,” added Ms. Brooks. “It’s really difficult for the layperson to determine what’s true and what’s not – and there are more negative messages than positive ones.”

L’Oréal USA Senior Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion and American Conference on Diversity Board of Trustees Co-Chair Angela Guy, Kean University’s first woman President of Student Organization Emily Cubilete, and the President of the New Brunswick Islamic Center Sami Catovic shared their thoughts during the “Call to Action” panel discussion, moderated by Kean EOF Director Yvonne Smith Segars, Esq. The resounding theme: In order to combat hate, we need to be “upstanders” to hate and not be passive bystanders.

“When you see something, say something,” said Ms. Guy. “Everyone has an opinion. We just have to make sure what we are saying is not offensive.”

“We have to change the discourse and not give in to uncivil discourse,” echoed Mr. Catovic. “Reach out to your neighbor and affirm their presence.”

To reverse the rising tide of hate sweeping our nation against people of diverse religions, races, sexual identities, and places of origin, Ms. Brooks outlined several ways the audience should record and report incidents of hate. “When one person says something [to stop hate], other people will say something. Be that first person,” she said.

Want to report an incident of hate? Fill out this SPLC form: http://bit.ly/2iC07nu.

Beyond reporting, another way to advocate against hate is to be aligned with like-minded organizations. For ways to get involved with the American Conference on Diversity, please visit http://bit.ly/2bkJj0j.

About the American Conference on Diversity
The American Conference on Diversity is dedicated to building just and inclusive schools, workplaces, and communities through awareness, education, and advocacy. The nonprofit organization was founded in 1948 as the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Today the programs, services, and initiatives of the American Conference on Diversity are among the most important work focused on creating a more inclusive society. It is the unfinished business of living in a highly diverse nation: educating and empowering our next generation of leaders, enhancing our workplaces, and helping to create inclusive communities. Visit www.AmericanConferenceonDiversity.org to learn more.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

South Brunswick Resident Charged with Sexual Assault of Highland Park Juvenile

November 20, 2017

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A man employed by a care management organization was charged with sexually assaulting and smoking pot with a Highland Park juvenile under his care, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office announced Saturday.  In all, 8 charges that included various levels of assault and drug use were issued.

Miguel Garrido, 23, of Monmouth Junction faces multiple ...

Happy Thanksgiving from Puerto Rico to East Brunswick

November 22, 2017

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick can be proud of a student who saw problem and did what he could to address it.  In doing so, brought a deep sense of what Thanksgiving really means to those in need.  He did the work to shed some light on a problem.

When Luke Zorn, a fifth grader at Warnsdorfer Elementary School, earned his "Arrow of Light" as a Cub ...

St. Paul's Church in Milltown to Host Santa Run on December 9

MILLTOWN, NJ - Run, run Rudolph and Santa too. St. Paul's Church is hosting a 5K Santa Run/Walk on Saturday, December 9. Race kicks off at 9 a.m. at North Brunswick Community Park. Check in begins at 7:30 a.m. The fee is $20 for adults and $15 for kids 12 years of age and younger. Race day fee is $25 per person. All of the proceeds from the Santa Run will go towards financing the St.

New Jersey's Best Rum-Spiked Cranberry Jelly Recipe

BLOOMFIELD, NJ -  Bloomfield resident Jenn Stilwell's cranberry jelly recipe is now the worst kept secret in the township.

Stilwell's jelly has been the subject of a great deal of chatter in town over the past few days. Then on Sunday afternoon. local business leader Izabela Van Tassel declared it "the best." Within hours, under cover of ...

Horse-drawn Wagon Rides, Carolers and Stories of Holidays Past Await Visitors to County’s ‘Seasonal Traditions’ Celebration

PISCATAWAY, NJ -- Nothing brings the holiday season to life like annual traditions, especially when they’re shared with family, friends and neighbors. The Middlesex County Office of Arts and History invites you to share in holiday music and fun at the “Seasonal Traditions” holiday program at East Jersey Old Town Village in Piscataway.

“Our residents are ...

East Brunswick Honors Veterans, Raises Community Spirit

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick's Veterans Day Observance last night was attended by approximately 250 residents who came to acknowledge the service of past and present heroes.  T

here were Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, EMS workers, firefighters, police officers and political officials in attendance; however, they were greatly outnumbered by the residents who came to honor ...

"A Hope to Dream": Ashley HomeStore is Providing Hope for the Holidays

 

CENTRAL NEW JERSEY - Ashley HomeStore of Central New Jersey and Staten Island will be donating 100 mattress sets just in time for the holidays this December through the Hope to Dream program. The event which has become an annual celebration will be co-hosted with Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, New Jersey. This impactful event is just part of Ashley HomeStore’s greater ...

Watson Coleman Statement On Trump Administration Ending Temporary Protected Status for 60,000 Haitians

November 21, 2017

EWING, NJ — Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s decision on ending the Temporary Protected Status of 60,000 Haitians:

 

“The failure to renew the Temporary Protected Status of some 60,000 human lives is a further continuation of the downward spiral of indecent leadership ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, November 22, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Get The Led Out

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, November 23, 6:30 PM

East Brunswick Jewish Center, East Brunswick

Kesher Bogrim Teen Program

Food & Drink

Sun, November 26, 3:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, New Brunswick

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra:

Arts & Entertainment

The Two Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman

The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman (St. Martins Griffin, 2016)

 

Author Lynda Cohen Loigman states, “The Two-Family House is a story I thought about for at least ten years before I ever wrote a word. I spent countless hours over a full decade thinking about how Rose, Helen, Abe, and Mort would behave in difficult situations, and how they would feel when faced with ...

Mayor Introduces Two Ways to Save on Taxes in East Brunswick

November 13, 2017

Dear East Brunswick Resident,

As the Mayor of East Brunswick Township, I am pleased to share with you a new program that could reduce your property tax bill each year. East Brunswick is proud to be one of several communities in New Jersey to offer such a program and one of the few to offer multiple of them.

Earlier this year, I introduced the Shop East Brunswick Rewards Program. In a ...