Know Your Neighbor (KYN): Be An Upstander Campaign

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 PhiladelphiaBeyond DifferencesMuslim Advocates and the Council on American-Islamic Relations—California.

How to Participate