Unison Rainbow Logo

EQUITY TEAM STATEMENT ON THE RISE OF ANTI-SEMITIC & ISLAMOPHOBIC HATE CRIMES

June 14, 2021

Dear Unison Community, 

We are a community that values self-interrogation, deep personal reflection, and engagement in difficult conversations about the ever-changing world around us. We have taken the time as an Equity Team to better understand the geopolitical conflicts that have led to violence in the Middle East. While there are centuries of history to continue to dig through, there are beliefs Unison feels strongly about: We unequivocally condemn all acts of violence.

We have seen hate crimes rise in response to the geopolitical conflict between Israel and Palestine. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reports that 305 anti-semitic incidents have been recorded during the month of May, a rise of 115% compared to last year. This includes 190 cases of harassment, 50 cases of vandalism, and 11 assaults. These anti-simitic hate crimes are taking place in New York City and other cities around the country and the world. As an Equity Team, we condemn these hateful acts against the Jewish community. 

At Unison, one of our CARES values is responsibility with a focus on navigating through conflict to come to a resolution. We know we cannot resolve the decades long political conflict between Israel and Palestine, but we do feel it is important to recognize that Jewish people and Muslim people are often pitted against each other despite the countless examples of peace among the two groups around the world.  So as we stand with our Jewish community members, we believe it is also vital to condemn Islamophobia and any hateful act against Muslim people.  As our Mission states, Unison CARES deeply about providing each and every student [and human] the dignity and respect they deserve. This dignity and respect knows no boundaries and we take pride in affirming all identities across cultures, races, religions, genders, and gender expression.

We feel that all people, including Israelis and Palestinians, have the right to live with dignity and respect, through self-determination, and to live with peace and security. It is important to us that we share this message of unity and speak out against the hateful acts towards the people of our New York community because as our Mission states: Unison CARES deeply about social justice, seeing public education as an opportunity to prepare youth to be thoughtful and actively engaged in bettering society.

We stand with our community and are here to support our families and students as you navigate this moment.  Should you need any support, please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of our school community. 

 
Respectfully, 
Unison Equity Team

Some resources to assist you as needed: 
https://www.vox.com/2018/11/20/18079996/israel-palestine-conflict-guide-explainer

https://solutionsnotsides.co.uk/blog/2021/avoiding-antisemitic-islamophobic-hate-speech