Columbia, SC (WLTX) – Folks from all over the Midlands met Tuesday to discuss how to put a stop to discrimination every day.
A new group called, Justice for All- South Carolina, hosted “Standing Together in a Divided World.” It was a workshop in honor of International End Racism Day.
“I think that what we’ve needed as a state, as a nation, as a community is an opportunity to come together from our different places where we can be genuinely who we are but also recognize we have space we can share together,” Rev. Eric Wolf with Justice for All-South Carolina explained.
Three guest speakers talked about racism, islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
“My husband lost his job after September 11th, it was mainly because of his name,” Muslim Azza El-Remessy said.
El-Remessy says she knows firsthand that racism continues to be an issue in our community.
“Swastikas being painted on the sides of neighborhoods, in schools that kind of thing,” Shelley Rose with the Anti-Defamation League said.
Rose said hate against the Jewish community has increased recently.
“You know over the last year I think we saw a real increase in campaign rhetoric and hateful rhetoric around the campaign and I think in some ways that has emboldened those people who may have a tendency towards hateful views,” Rose said.
“So I think the healing comes from the fact that we can name these things in the open and talk about them honestly, and be able to respect where we’re coming from,” Wolf said.
Organizers say this dialogue and knowledge of people’s differences helps bridge the divide.
“This is really important you know for average and normal people like myself to feel like somebody can still listen to them, “El-Remessy said.
“I think events and programs like we’re seeing today where people from different faith communities are coming together to talk about how they can be allies for each other and how we can act together to make this a world without hate,” Rose said.