Sunday August 12, 2018 marked one year since white supremacists devastated Charlottesville and the world, spouting hate for Jews, Muslims, African Americans and the entire spectrum of minorities. With Jason Kessler organizing a "Unite the Right 2" rally in front of the White House to mark the occasion, we decided to take proactive steps. Bearing the lessons from Charlottesville in mind, we looked for a way to address the rising tide of hate, to stand for human rights values, and to provide a safe space for the diverse rainbow of communities of Washington D.C. to express themselves.
We decided to support a grassroots, inclusive effort dedicated to the shared values of Love, Dignity and Unity against Hate. The Agape March, coordinated by Rejuve-A-Nation, was a 250-mile, 8-day journey from New York City to Washington D.C. that mobilized supporters and communities along the way. The march culminated on Sunday with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial to say loud and clear that we stand together in unity against hate and that America is for all of us - whether we're black, white, Asia, Latino, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, LGBTQ, or any other shade of the rainbow of identities that truly makes this country great.
Standing where Martin Luther King famously said "I Have a Dream", Rabbi Jack Moline blew his Shofar and shared beautiful reflections on the events of the day in relation to the Jewish month of Elul dedicated to repentance, mercy and spiritual progress; Black Lives Matter activists called for unity, love and meaningful engagement between all communities of America to heal racial divides and promote harmony and prosperity; a young Jewish woman shared a heart-wrenching story of living a nightmare when she became the target of a neo-Nazi group in her town; and AMEL President Mohamed Abubakr called on Americans to use the power of the vote - which refugees and immigrants like him don't yet have - to bring civility back to the halls of power for the sake of everyone who calls America home.
Watching the diversity of the speakers on that stage, we felt overwhelmed with emotions, realizing that communities that hadn't stood on the same stage in ages were coming together again. By the end of the day, love had proven to be much more powerful than hate, unity much stronger than division. Washington DC showed the white supremacists that their hate is dwarfed by to those who use the values of humanity and positivity to build better communities for all.