Second Annual Gather Against Hate Rally
Held in White Plains

By Stephen E. Lipken


Westchester County and Westchester County Human Rights Commission in partnership with Westchester Jewish Council (WJC) and over 50 other organizations, held a rally, Gather Against Hate on Wednesday, June 15 at the Richard J. Daronco Courthouse Plaza, 111 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, White Plains.  


Reverend Doris K. Dalton, Chair, Human Rights Commission Board and New York Conference of the United Methodist Church, welcomed about 200 people to the Second Annual Gathering, calling for everyone to love their neighbors “with all your heart, soul and mind…  


“The Asian-American Community has been a target of hate and violence for the past few years.In March, an elderly Filipino woman was brutally attacked in her apartment lobby in Yonkers.


As an Asian-American, I say to all of you, we need you to see us as your neighbors.  The truth is, we need each other and show the world that hate has no home in Westchester County.”


Speakers included clergy, Imam Musa Abdul Ali; Rabbi Evan Hoffman, Congregation Anshe Sholom, New Rochelle; Reverend Dr. Stephen Pogue, Pastor, Greater Centennial A.M.E. Zion Church, Mount Vernon and Vice Chair, Human Rights Commission; Attorney Mayo Bartlett; Westchester County Board of Legislators Chair Catherine Borgia; New York State Attorney General Letitia (Tish) James; Community Resource Center Executive Director Jirandy Martinez; Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah; NYS Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and LOFT LGBTQ Executive Director Judy Troilo.


Below the speakers’ platform, a few citizens held up placards decrying apartheid (Jewish Voice for Peace); “end the occupation” and advocating women, children, people of color, LGBTQIA and Palestinians. 


Concluding the Rally, Westchester County Executive George Latimer stated, “As it says in the Scriptures, ‘Be of good courage and neither be afraid.’” Latimer recounted the life of Nelson Mandela, born to a tribal family in a country where apartheid was law, overcoming a 27-year prison sentence and prejudice to become President of South Africa.


“I leave you with lines from an old song, ‘Blackbirds singing in the dead of night.  Take these broken wings and learn to fly.’ If we are strong, tough and persistent enough, we will win!”


A strong wind came up at the conclusion of the program, perhaps signifying Winds of Change.