MEDIA CONTACT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jay Jacobson, Antisemitism Task Force, United Jewish Federation of Utah
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Alex Shapiro, Executive Director, United Jewish Federation of Utah
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Community Partners Against Hate Condemn Vandalism at Trinity AME Church
SALT LAKE CITY – August 10, 2023 We collectively decry another act of vandalism on the property of the historic Trinity African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Salt Lake City, reported on Sunday, August 6. Any desecration of a religious institution affects all people of faith. An attack that targets Black Americans affects all people of color. An attack against people because they appear or are believed to be different should make all of us tremble. None of us are safe if angry, misguided people are allowed to attack us, damage our property, or threaten us. As in this case, those who threaten do so without identifying themselves, those who desecrate do so in darkness. They know these acts are crimes. When such crimes are motivated by hatred and intended to frighten entire communities, they are hate crimes. The message scrawled on the sidewalk, “Stay off my block, you are not welcome…” and the vandalism to a sign on the property, put these acts squarely in that category. We know that most residents of Salt Lake City believe it is a place where people of all faiths, races, ethnicities, gender identities, ages and nationalities are welcome and safe. We are fortunate that our city leaders and police department are committed to this belief and work collaboratively to prevent acts that belie these beliefs and, when such actions do occur and are reported, investigate quickly and diligently to identify perpetrators, and hold them accountable.
For the past 125 years, Trinity AME has been a central gathering place for the Salt Lake City Black Christian community – a place where congregants could feel safe from the implicit biases and discrimination that they often experience elsewhere. This act of vandalism is a poignant reminder that we all have much work to do, and to remain silent is to condone these vile actions. As Community Partners Against Hate, we stand in solidarity with our neighbors at Trinity AME and speak out against hate in all forms.
Community Partners Against Hate, sponsored by the United Jewish Federation of Utah is a coalition of minority and faith community leaders and city, county, and state officials who believe, as Lincoln did, that we will epitomize the American dream when we live in a community “With malice toward none…”
About United Jewish Federation of Utah
Since 1943 we have been committed to care for and build a vibrant Jewish community. We bring together Jews from different generations, backgrounds, and levels of observance to celebrate our shared history and peoplehood. Together with our network of local agencies and synagogues, we are creating a community that is welcoming for all.