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Denver-area black and Jewish groups ally to counter white-nationalist hate

Organizers say the only agenda is “combining to fight the white nationalists that want to destroy us both.”

View of the entrance to George Washington High School in east Denver, Colorado. Credit: J. Pock via Wikimedia Commons.
View of the entrance to George Washington High School in east Denver, Colorado. Credit: J. Pock via Wikimedia Commons.

Black and Jewish Denverites will gather on March 15 for a “Denver Dialogue” intended to draw the two communities together in the face of a common enemy: white nationalism.

“While African-Americans and American Jews joined forces to fight for civil rights in the 1960s, our relationship otherwise has been characterized by great connection and great divergence,” per an event announcement.

Award-winning poet Theo Wilson and educator Evan Weissman will co-moderate the conversation to take place at George Washington High School’s library.

Wilson, who has delivered speeches for the NAACP since he was 15, is the executive director of Shop Talk Live, which facilitates community discussions in barber shops. His 2017 TED Talk “A Black Man Goes Undercover in the Alt-Right” has reached 17 million viewers.

Weissman is the founder and executive director for Warm Cookies of the Revolution, a “civic health club” combining art and community improvement. He also teaches at Colorado College.

Caren Press, who is Jewish, organized the event, which will occur at the high school where she runs a mentorship program.

“The African-American community and the Jewish community do not have an agreement on facts. The white nationalists are pushing a lot of erroneous information because they want to divide us,” she said.

The event is described as communities coming together organically, without agenda, rather than happening under the aegis of churches, synagogues, school districts or advocacy groups.

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