A broad range of legislators, clergy and community organizers are participating in a civic educational forum intitled,” Intolerance & Hate: Current Trends and Their Roots,” Thursday October 18th at 7:00 PM at the United Universalist Church of Amherst, 6320 Main Street, Williamsville, NY 14221.
The panelists include: Erie County Legislature Majority Leader April Baskin, Rabbi Jonathan Freirich (Temple Beth Zion) U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, Richard Lipsitz (WNY Area Labor Federation,) and Pastor George Nicholas, (Lincoln Memorial United Methodist Church). The panel will be moderated by Erie County Family Court Judge Lisa Bloch Rodwin.
The discussion aims to highlight the context and history of racism, anti-Semitism and hatred and how our community can overcome it together. In this time of division and divisive public discourse, more work is needed to understand each other and find common ground.
“We live in a difficult time. Since, 2016, we have witnessed an increase in the size and scope of racist and fascist activity. This panel will discuss the importance of increasing awareness to this threat to our democracy. Our organization is proud to be an active participant in this event,” said Richard Lipsitz, president of the WNY Area Labor Federation.
“Civil society requires a basic rejection of hatred in action and speech that provokes. Today, our long fought-for and protected freedoms are being used to justify incivility. We must trace the roots of communal intolerance and hatred and transparently craft our communities to be better, more just, and civil places,” added Rabbi Jonathan Freirich.
Sponsors include, Temple Beth Zion, WNY Area Labor Federation, Buffalo Jewish Community Relations Council and NAACP Buffalo Chapter. The event is free of charge with refreshments offered after the discussion.