How do we unite greater Rochester behind the very clear and powerful message to end hate? Working with groups across our diverse communities, the Levine Center to End Hate seeks to amplify both new and existing efforts through programming that explores our differences, develops skills for dialogue, and activates cooperative and collaborative responses to hate in all its forms.
BRAVE SPACES: Rochester's Summit to End Hate
One participant called it "a day of active and wise hope." Another appreciated the opportunity to grapple with issues and topics "for those who wonder how we got to this very segregated place." These were just two of the voices of the nearly 400 participants, panelists, and facilitators from across Rochester who joined us for BRAVE SPACES: Rochester's Summit to End Hate.
Planning for the day-long summit began in early 2020, with the goal of reaching across Rochester’s diverse communities to engage individuals of all ages and backgrounds to learn from the best and brightest local and national experts on how to combat all forms of hate. That included crowd-sourcing workshops from community leaders in the cultural, educational, philanthropic, and social justice sectors of our region.
"It was exciting to think so much originated in Rochester. Please continue what you are doing."
The day kicked off with an inspiring keynote address from Eric Ward, a Senior Fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, followed by 12 workshops and closing words from Rochester native, former NFL champion, and founder of the Champion Academy Roland Williams.
WHY DO WE HATE: A Community Conversation
The Levine Center to End Hate was proud to welcome Arno and Pardeep on a special evening in November to lead our launch event, “Why Do We Hate? A Community Conversation”. The two men are co-authors of The Gift of Our Wounds: A Sikh and Former White Supremacist Find Forgiveness After Hate.
Before a sold-out crowd that included a diverse audience of high school and college students and adults from across the area, the two men spoke of their unique friendship and their work for peace. It was an evening of inspiration and a fitting kick-off for our efforts to unite the greater Rochester community in overcoming hate through education, dialogue, and positive action.
When hate harms one segment of our community, it adversely affects us all. The Levine Center to End Hate is resolved to counter these horrific events through a rapid response that demonstrates solidarity with groups that have been targeted and brings people with diverse and potentially opposing views together to listen respectfully to one another.
Islamic Center Rally for Hope
In the immediate aftermath of the horrific shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the Levine Center to End Hate mobilized the local community to stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors. More than 300 people of diverse faiths, races, and ages gathered at the Islamic Center of Rochester holding signs expressing their support. Islamic Center leaders invited all those present to enter the mosque for afternoon prayers. Hundreds of men, women, and children filled the sanctuary, where they participated in the service and heard spontaneous messages of hope from Muslim and interfaith leaders, including the Jewish Federation CEO and the Director of the Levine Center to End Hate.