Norton, Raskin to Host Teach-In and Interfaith Vigil on Effective Community Responses to Hate and White Supremacy, Friday

Aug 6, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD) will host a regional teach-in on the effects of extremist groups in American communities and effective ways to push back against the spread of hate, followed by an interfaith vigil, on 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).  The town hall-style event will encourage audience participation.  Members of the public are invited to remain after the teach-in to hear from interfaith leaders.  Refreshments will be served throughout the teach-in and vigil.

Reverend William J. Barber, II, president and lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, will deliver the keynote address, and Leonard Zeskind, Founder of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, will explain the current context of far-right organizing and vigilante violence. 

The teach-in will feature a panel discussion, entitled “Developing Effective Responses to Eliminate Hate.”  The panel will feature 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.

“As we continue to see hate speech rise across the country, it is critical to find constructive and nonviolent ways to address those we disagree with and help educate the public,” said Congresswoman Norton.  “Because the First Amendment protects all speech, even hate speech, those of us who profoundly disagree with such messages must find effective and creative ways to respond.  Our teach-in will promote community engagement and feature experts and leaders who have spent their lives effectively responding to hate and bigoted speech, while respecting constitutional First Amendment principles.”

“Our Teach-In will provide essential information on how communities across America are responding to growing hate violence and white supremacist ideology,” said Congressman Raskin.  “It will provide our community the chance to deliver a unified response to the racist roadshow coming to our streets this weekend.  We want to say that the fascists speak under a First Amendment which they hate, but they don’t speak for us and they cannot intimidate a community which is thriving under the values of democracy, pluralism and tolerance they despise.  We stand together and we stand strong.”