EA Launches "We the People" Initiative to Combat Hate in NYC
Educational Alliance Launches “We the People” Initiative to Directly Combat Hate and Prejudice in New York City with Unveiling of Community Mural
Initiative to include ‘Know Your Rights’ seminar for immigrants, anti-violence workshops, and community service summit to promote civic engagement
Lower East Side, NYC - Educational Alliance (EA), a community based organization serving more than 50,000 New Yorkers annually, officially launched the “We the People” initiative this morning with the unveiling of a mural featuring the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence in five languages at its Manny Cantor Center. The gathering featured downtown New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds – Jews, Muslims, LGBTQ+, immigrants, and many more - reflecting both the diversity of the Lower East Side and a cross-section of many of the groups targeted by a rise in hate crimes following the 2016 presidential election. Following a brief program, event attendees – many of whom live and work in the neighborhood – were encouraged to sign their names on the mural.
As part of the Initiative, EA will host a series of events, workshops, and community forums, including a “Know Your Rights” forum on Wednesday, January 25th in partnership with NYC's Mayor's Office on Immigration Affairs, where people will have access to information on immigration fraud, immigrant rights, and services available to immigrants from New York Legal Assistance Group. For an up-to-date list of We the People events and for more information please visit: http://www.edalliance.org/wethepeople
Educational Alliance President & CEO Alan van Capelle spoke at the initiative’s launch ceremony this morning saying, “Since its founding on the Lower East Side more than 128 years ago, Educational Alliance has stood for each and every person in our community. While our neighborhood has changed, our resolve to protect the most vulnerable members of our society from hateful and unjust actions has not. At a time when our nation is experiencing an increase in hate speech and hate crimes against religious, racial, and ethnic minorities, we are drawing a line in the sand and reminding our community that the story of this nation is written by We the People. To that end, our We the People Initiative will ensure that no matter your color, race, or creed, we will stand together with you in the name of inclusiveness, equal rights, justice, and fairness. That’s because whatever tomorrow brings, New Yorkers always have each other’s back.”
Joanna Samuels, Executive Director of Manny Cantor Center said, “The unveiling and signing of our We the People mural represents a kind of civic ritual that will help us to be whole. Signing this multi-lingual mural, which features lines from the Declaration of Independence, enables us to celebrate the rights we hold dear and it helps us to remember that we, too, are part of the American narrative.”
The mural will remain in the main lobby of Manny Cantor Center for the next two months. Visitors will have the opportunity to sign the mural on an ongoing basis.
Lower East Side, NY: Educational Alliance President and CEO Alan van Capelle addresses the crowd at the event before the unveiling.
Lower East Side, NY: Residents of all ages and backgrounds signed the mural to stand in solidarity with Educational Alliance.
Lower East Side, NY: The mural in the lobby of the Manny Cantor Center features opening lines from the Declaration of Independence in five languages – English, Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, and Arabic. The mural was signed by residents of the Lower East Side.
About Educational Alliance
Educational Alliance (www.edalliance.org) is a vibrant, dynamic, non-profit organization that has served New Yorkers from all walks of life for the last 128 years. We believe that everyone should have a chance to live a better life and that arts & culture, education, health & wellness, and social services help to lay the foundation for a brighter future. We’re a living laboratory, piloting and investigating ways to solve problems, create a better society, and advocate for the vulnerable.
Jake Link, Director of Communications