The following statement was signed on June 17, 2021 by community faith, racial, and ethnic leaders at a convening called the “Coalition Against Hate” held at the Tucson Jewish Community Center.
We, the undersigned religious and ethnic leaders of Tucson and the Southern Arizona community, come together today to share our commitment to a society based on authentic respect and acceptance.
In a climate where racist language and action seem to flourish like invasive weeds, sending vines to dark corners of the internet and tendrils within human hearts, we believe the best response is to demonstrate our undiminished commitment to acceptance. We unite in respect for all people across every potential boundary line of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, social group, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and economic status.
Acceptance and celebration of difference is a central principle of our dedication to community. We are all created in the image of God however—or whether—we conceive of the divine. We are all deserving of understanding and respect. Any form of racial, ethnic, or religious hatred is a desecration of this principle and must not be tolerated in any form.
Anti-Semitism is the oldest form of racism. There is never an acceptable reason for it, and it is never defensible. We unite against Anti-Semitism, as we unite against xenophobia, racism and bigotry of every kind.
An attack on any race, religion or ethnic group is an attack on decency and good, and on us all. We urge everyone in Southern Arizona not only to reject all such attacks, but to build bridges of respect and acceptance that strengthen our society and serve to create a truly beloved community.
We commit today to create a coalition to build relationships, challenge stereotypes, and cultivate understanding and mutual respect.
The April 17 Coalition Against Hate meeting was covered in a variety of news outlets:
- In wake of attacks on Jewish synagogues, faith leaders begin coalition against hate, KVOA
- Religious, ethnic groups announce coalition to fight hate in Southern Az, Tucson Sentinel
- After antisemitic incidents, Arizona faith leaders form anti-hate group, Jerusalem Post
- Southern Arizona faith, ethnic leaders form “Coalition Against Hate”, KOLD