Activists, religious leaders fight hate, white nationalism at East Village conference

EAST VILLAGE — The Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village kicked off its annual conference, Revolutionary Love, on Friday.

Activists and religious leaders from all over gathered to try to figure out ways to combat hate, particularly white nationalism, in a time when the nation seems more divided than ever.

The conference comes at a time that the religious left feels energized, as they work together to fight the rise of hate and discrimination.

“The assault of just anger and vitriol and violence,” said Rev. Jacqueline J Lewis. “Love, one-to-one conversations, gathering community together. This is how we’ll heal.”

Genesis Be, a rapper, writer and activist, kicked off the conference with an impactful poetry performance.

“I think the conference really facilitates a space for not just activists to come together but to do it in the concept of love and compassion,” said the rapper.

Wajahat Ali is an opinion contributor for the New York Times who covers religion, family and politics. He explained why he feels the conference is so important. “Men and women committed to faith and spirituality, and progressive politics, who really want to lean in and do good. Using their faith,” said Ali. “Using their values to uplift all communities.”

For a day pass or to livestream the conference, head to their website: middlechurch.org

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