A coalition of religious and community groups called “We Are All Brooklyn” gathered in Brooklyn’s Borough Hall on Thursday to demonstrate their opposition to hate crimes in the borough.
The event, called "Stand United Against Hate," brought dozens of religious and political leaders from across the city to come together to express bias crimes of any kind.
"Hate crimes have no place in Brooklyn and in New York and they must stop," said Democratic Borough President Marty Markowitz.
The gathering is an effort to put an end to hate crimes, like one experienced by the son of Wing Chuen Lui at a stairwell in his Brooklyn school in December.
"As my son was being beaten, the assaulters said hitting Chinese is very fun," said Wing Chuen Lui.
The two students who assaulted the boy were suspended.
"We think it's absolutely necessary that a powerful message goes out to people who are intolerant, that perpetrate acts of violence that it is unacceptable," said Chris Johnson, co-founder of “We Are All Brooklyn.”
Just last week, attendant Assistant Rabbi Uria Ohana of the Massachusetts Chabad Center was a victim himself, when a teenager pulled the yarmulke right off Ohana's head and ran off with it.
The teenager, Ali Hussein, was arrested for the incident and charged with grand larceny as a hate crime
"I want to make sure the right authorities take care of this incident and to make sure it's not a growing trend," said Ohana.
Faiza Ali from the Council on American-Islamic Relations says the crime against Ohana is one of the reasons religious leaders throughout the city are now taking action.
"Promoting cultural and religious sensitivity may lessen the chance that an occurrence like this one will repeat itself,” said Ali. “Through meaningful interactions and honest conversation, we will build a more peaceful community and we will promote an understanding of diverse cultures"
To continue their message, "We are all Brooklyn" is planning a public conference on April 9. For more information, visit www.waab.org.