Join the #KnowYourNeighbor Upstander Campaign: April 2nd-4th

The Know Your Neighbor: Be An Upstander campaign ran from Monday, April 2nd - Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

A disturbing rise in anti-Semitism, xenophobia, anti-Muslim bigotry, and misogynistic rhetoric in the United States and across the world requires a response, especially when such rhetoric inspires discrimination and hate crimes. It should be clear that campaigns promoting hate and suspicion toward minorities are divisive to our communities, corrosive to our society, and destructive to our democratic culture. Hateful campaigns also cause real harm by increasing the fear and stress level of the targeted communities.

For example the public has been repeatedly told that our southern border is nearly porous and that undocumented immigrants have been streaming into the United States from Mexico and Latin America to exploit our generosity. This has led many individuals to suspicions that any Latino person in our midst is potentially in the country unlawfully. Or the fact that, despite centuries of at times deadly suspicion against Jews and decades of education on the Holocaust, anti-Semitism and the stereotypes that drive it are still pervasive and increasing. Similarly, when we are told repeatedly that there is a compelling national security argument for keeping Muslims out of our nation, this reinforces the idea that Muslims are somehow more dangerous than other people and to be feared as a group.

In light of these troubling developments, we call on all people to respond to this divisiveness and bigotry by being upstanders; to show that attempts to divide us along lines of religion, race, culture, or gender will not work. Not today, not ever. We are joined in this effort by our Know Your Neighbor: Multifaith Encounters program, comprised of 100 partners across the nation, who are all taking part in this effort by encouraging community members to be upstanders in the face of prejudice and discrimination.

Please join us in countering bigotry and building solidarity against hate as we work to construct a society and nation that is united through its diversity. UPDATE: We're organizing a Twitter Storm on April 3rd from 12 pm EST/9 am PST until 3 pm EST/12 pm PST that participants will engage in with #KnowYourNeighbor-tagged tweets. Watch the ING Twitter feed for more details.

While our coalition is made up of 100 organizations across the country, we are especially grateful to these partners for their initiative on this campaign: The Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, Beyond Differences, Muslim Advocates and the Council on American-Islamic Relations—California.

How To Participate:

If enough people raise their voices, our elected officials will listen. Raise your voice and encourage solidarity by telling them what America means to you, namely that we welcome anyone willing to adhere to the promise of the United States. Remind them that being an American is indivisible from our history of immigration, diversity and pluralism.

Join us on social media channels by sharing these posts, voicing your solidarity with people of all backgrounds and encouraging others to do so as well.

  • I, [insert name/organization] stand beside my fellow Americans regardless of religion, ethnicity, or politics and uphold their right to feel safe. I vow to care for all my neighbors despite our differences. Join the #KnowYourNeighbor Upstander Campaign:
  • Stand up against all forms of hatred and bigotry before they start. Join the #KnowYourNeighbor Upstander Campaign and pursue unity in the United States and beyond:
  • “I do not like that man. I must get to know him better.” - President Abraham Lincoln. Join the #KnowYourNeighbor Upstander Campaign and erase fear by replacing it with knowledge:
  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. #KnowYourNeighbor
  • Being an American is indivisible from our history of immigration, diversity and pluralism. Voice your solidarity with Americans of all ethnicities, religions, races and backgrounds and join the #KnowYourNeighbor Upstander Campaign:
  • Hate crimes are especially vile to the American consciousness because they betray the promise of the United States as a place where all people are welcomed. Be an upstander and get to

Unchallenged hatred has a habit of reinforcing and repeating itself. If you witness acts of exclusion or hate towards others based on their differences, take the initiative to do something about it. Challenge the perpetrators (if safe to do so) and stand up for those being targeted.

Here are some posts to share from community partners with resources on how to act when you see or hear something hateful directed toward a fellow American:

Following the example of survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting who organized and spoke out, we encourage students to raise their voices against isolation and exclusion by getting to know your classmates by reaching out to students who are isolated, letting your elected officials know that you reject violence and hate, and working in your communities to be an upstander for others.

Share these posts on social media and with your educators to help create more inclusive, compassionate classrooms: