Augusta community learns ways to bridge the gap, educate on racism

Published: Aug. 21, 2022 at 11:44 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A diverse group of people living in the CSRA gathered together at the Richmond County Municipal Building to learn how to better unite the community.

Sponsored by the Augusta Jewish Museum, “Hope in Times of Hate” provided resources for the Augusta community.

Today’s mission: to expand their knowledge on the impact hate, bigotry, racism and more have in the community and what they can do to stop it.

“It doesn’t end today. I promise you that,” Adas Yeshurun Synagogue Rabbi, David Sirull said.

“Hopes in Times of Hate” hosted a diverse audience panel, from the NAACP, ADL and other organizations, all helping to strengthen the Augusta community.

“What we are looking to do is build the bridges that connect communities,” Southeast Region Anti-Defamation League Board member, Robert Wittenstein said.

Panelists say the way to do that is reaching out to the community.

“Attend programs like the one we had today, which is a perfect example of a way to connect with how the community is dealing with hatred,” Sirull said.

The ADL says as of 2020 hate crimes have increased by 191% since 2018. The panel says the way to bridge connections is community involvement.

“It’s important that education takes place, whether it be through the school system, through different religious institutions, through different multicultural groups,” Jewish Community Center and Federation of Augusta Executive Director, Nicky Spivak said.

One Augusta resident says these practices will aid him down the road.

“Just gaining more knowledge from each other on how to eliminate and control hate crimes and attitudes on bias people towards my culture, just the color of my skin, and anybody else that feels targeted,” Augusta resident Brot said.

Rabbi David Sirull said this is a monthly series and the programming on topics like this will continue for the Augusta community.