By Taryn Smith
After swastikas appeared in various places across North Hempstead, New York and a local JCC was victim to a bomb threat, these Long Islanders banned together against hate. They took immediate action by blanketing the town with Not In Our Town posters to create a sense of unity. Next, members of the community organzied an interfaith event with a panel of speakers calling for a stand against hate and bigotry.
The Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and members of the Town Board partnered with the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County to present “Not In Our Town: A Unity & Anti-Hate Conference” that brought together community leaders from across Long Island to take a stand against hate crimes, violence and intolerance.
Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein | Newsday
Guest speakers included Village of Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri; Tracy Garrison-Feinberg, Director of Education for the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County (HMTC); Steve Markowitz, Chair HMTC; Dr. Isma Chaudhry, President of the Islamic Center of L.I.; Joselo Lucero from the Hagedorn Foundation; Rev. Dyanne Pina, Executive Director of the L.I. Council of Churches, and Juli Grey-Owens, Executive Director of the Long Island Transgender Advocacy Coalition (LITAC).
One of the panelists, Joselo Lucero, brother of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant who was slain in 2008 in Patchogue in a hate crime said that he had never been an advocate before his brother was killed in a racially-motivated attack.
“It’s not about playing the hot potato anymore. It’s about caring for your neighbor,” Lucero said. “Now is the crucial time, when my community is being targeted, the Muslim community is being targeted, the minority community is being targeted.”
Watch footage of the event here:
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