It started with a poster. It has expanded into an entire week of events showing that the Bay Area is United Against Hate.
In the fall of 2017, when members of white supremacist groups began a campaign to hold rallies in Berkeley and Oakland, California, a group of community leaders came up with a way to make a statement that neo-Nazis, their hatred and their ideas were not welcome in the East Bay. Posters were produced proclaiming, “Berkeley Stands United Against Hate” and “Oakland Stands United Against Hate.”
The poster movement grew in many more communities around the Bay Area, including Fremont, where two grassroots organizations, Compassionate Fremont and the Tri-City Interfaith Council, worked with the City of Fremont to get similar posters printed and distributed.
In 2018, an entire November week was dedicated to activities to show that the “Bay Area Stands United Against Hate.”
This year, November 17-23 has been designated United Against Hate Week, and Compassionate Fremont and the Tri-City Interfaith Council (with various co-sponsors) are organizing five free events to which the public is invited. Each event shows that our community stands united against hate as we grow and learn more about each other.
On Monday, November 18, 7:00-8:00 p.m., there will be a candlelight vigil at St. James’ Episcopal Church, 37051 Cabrillo Terrace, Fremont. Co-sponsored by St. James’ Church and Abode Services, the vigil will be a time to reflect on lives impacted by homelessness and to remember by name those who have died on the streets. Canned food and non-perishable items will be collected for distribution by Abode Services.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is Wednesday, November 20, at 7:00 p.m. A gathering in solidarity with the trans community will be held at Cole Hall on the First United Methodist Church/Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation (MPUUC) campus, 2950 Washington Blvd., Fremont. Co-sponsored by MPUUC, this will be a time to honor and grieve the transgender people who have died at the hands of others in the past year. Remembrances will be given to attendees to help remember and respect the people whose lives who were cut short by violence.
There will be two events on Saturday, November 23. From 10:00 a.m. to noon, TCIC and Compassionate Fremont will hold “Tea and Conversation” at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, 2791 Driscoll Rd., Fremont. In a directed process, people will be invited to pair up with someone they don’t know from a faith tradition different from their own and have a conversation over a cup of tea. Through this process, barriers will be broken down and friendship may be formed. Participants are asked to stay for the entire time.
That afternoon at 4:00 p.m., the East Bay People’s Choir will present a free concert at Irvington Presbyterian Church, 4181 Irvington Ave., Fremont. The East Bay People’s Choir is a non-auditioned, open ensemble for people of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. The concert will present music that is hopeful, multicultural, and beautiful.
The final event sponsored by the Tri-City Interfaith Council falls after the official seven days of Bay Area United Against Hate Week. This is the 58th annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. It will be held on Monday, November 25, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 43148 Mission Blvd., Fremont. With readings from sacred texts, prayers, songs, and even dance, everyone from the Tri-Cities is invited to a time of gratitude for and celebration of the diverse faith traditions represented that night, all part of our wider community. A free-will offering will be received at this event to help underwrite the justice work of the Tri-City Interfaith Council.