Norton Encourages Residents to Attend Teach-In and Interfaith Vigil as the Most Effective Community Response to Hate Speech
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Following a discussion with Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Peter Newsham on the District of Columbia’s preparations for the upcoming Unite the Right march this weekend, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today urged District of Columbia residents to attend a teach-in she is co-hosting with Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD). Norton today will attend a roundtable discussion with Mayor Bowser, Chief Newsham, District officials and faith leaders for a briefing on the District’s preparedness plan for the upcoming First Amendment events.
The teach-in will focus on the effects of extremist groups in American communities and effective ways to respond to spread of hate, followed by an interfaith vigil, Friday, August 10, 2018, from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (doors open at 2:30 p.m.), at Washington Hebrew Congregation (3935 Macomb St. NW, Washington, DC 20016). Reverend William J. Barber, II, president of Repairers of the Breach, will deliver the keynote address. The teach-in will feature a panel discussion, entitled “Developing Effective Responses to Eliminate Hate,” featuring Dr. Wes Bellamy, Vice Mayor, Charlottesville, VA; Dr. Randy Blazak, Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime; Lecia Brooks, Outreach Director, Southern Poverty Law Center; Monica Hopkins, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, D.C.; and Tony McAleer, Board Chair, Life After Hate.
“Our teach-in and vigil will give residents the opportunity to speak out not only about hate speech aimed at virtually every minority group, but also learn about constructive and productive ways to respond to hate,” Norton said. “I have no doubt that the District will keep demonstrators and counter protestors safe this weekend. But instead of trying to drown out the speech of the demonstrators, we invite residents to come to our event to speak out about their views and offer suggestions for how to respond to bigoted groups.”