Westchester County holds Religious Faith Summit to combat hate

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Westchester County hosted a Religious Faith Summit to highlight solutions in its battle against hate.

News 12 shined a spotlight on the problem in a recent two-year investigation called ‘Hate at Home.”

Since 2010, there have been more than 600 cases dealing with hate crimes and incidents in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

MORE: Hate at Home Part 3: Probe finds anti-Semitic incidents are surging in NY 

“There’s a feeling of discomfort, we look at those incidents of hate and we wonder. We can’t help but look at our history and wonder if history is about to repeat itself,” says Rabbi Howard Goldsmith, of Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester.

Thomas Gleason, of the Westchester Commission of Public Safety, added “If there’s one, that’s one too many. We take them very seriously, here in Westchester, as most law agencies do.”

County agencies and faith leaders plan to find solutions to stop this matter soon. Officials like Westchester County Youth Bureau Executive Director, Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden, are working with private and public agencies devoted to protecting today’s youth.

According to Harris-Madden, collecting data on this subject “…will include an equity lens, looking at the various cultures, ages, different groups so that we have culturally responsive respondents to receive funding to address some of these issues." 

News 12 is told the data will measure resources, which will then create opportunity.

The Westchester County Youth Bureau Executive director also believes attacking the problem may be served best by starting young and educating students before the hate begins.

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