In collaboration with Law Enforcement, Non-Profits and Interfaith Councils, Pacifica Institute hosted a luncheon-panel about how to assure houses of worships are open and welcoming while also being prepared and keeping the community safe. The event gathered the local community from different faiths and backgrounds to be informed about this important subject.

The program started with the invitation of guests to have lunch together at the same table to learn about each other and exchange opinions for the purpose of assuring the safety of  house of worships.

After screening short videos about the Pacifica Institute and its activities, the panel, moderated by Fatih Ates from Pacifica Institute, was convened. The panelists included Seth Brysk from Anti-Defamation League, Rafael Brinner from Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, Ishaq Pathan from Islamic Networks Group and Kyle Biebesheimer from Federal Bureau of Investigation and they were asked questions on the subject of how to keep house of worships safe.

The panelists underlined that hate crime includes violations to worship of house of God and most of the hate crimes are not reported. You should be against all sort of biasing (words, races, joke, bullying …) and report them in a situation. You should be vigilant about any difference around the building (such as a suspicious person, car or an item) and security guidelines and exit information must be visible in the building.

It is advised to keep strong relationship with the law enforcement in your neighborhood and have their contact information to call them in the emergency situations. Another important point was made about the education of our children so that our future generations will stand against all sort of hatred.

The event ended after the panelists received questions from the quests. This program was designed to equip the community with the necessary resources to understand the peaceful ways to act against the hate actions and how to support our institutions in timely need.