Biden to Host September Summit Targeting Hate-Fueled Violence 

President Joe Biden will host a White House summit in September at the White House aimed at combating hate-fuelled violence. 

The United We Stand Summit is set for September 15 and seeks to highlight the “corrosive effects” of violence on public safety and democracy. It will bring together officials, faith leaders, business executives, law enforcement, gun violence prevention advocates, former members of violent hate groups, civil rights groups, victims of extremist violence, and cultural figures. 

The White House emphasized it intends to bring together Democrats and Republicans, as well as leaders on the federal, state, and local levels. It will feature a keynote speech by Biden, who will present a shared vision for a more united America. 

Advocates pushed Biden to hold the event after 10 Black people were killed at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in May, aiming as well to address hate-driven violence in cities including El Paso, Texas, Pittsburgh, and Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

“As President Biden said in Buffalo after the horrific mass shooting earlier this year, in the battle for the soul of our nation ‘We must all enlist in this great cause of America,’” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

Biden has frequently cited a 2017 white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, for bringing him out of political retirement to challenge Donald Trump in 2020. He promised in that campaign to work to bridge political and social divides and to promote national unity.

Sindy Benavides, chief executive of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said the genesis of the summit came after the Buffalo massacre, as her organization, the Anti-Defamation League, the National Action Network, and other groups wanted to press the Biden administration to more directly tackle extremist threats.

Hate crimes in the U.S. rose to the highest levels in 12 years in 2020, according to FBI reports. This was triggered largely by a surge in assaults on Black and Asian Americans. The 2020 data, submitted to the FBI by more than 15,000 state and local police agencies, identified 7,759 hate crimes, a 6% increase on 2019 and the highest number since 2008. Since 2014, hate crimes have risen by 42%.

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