Advancement Project Condemns Recent Acts of Violence and Intolerance

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Contact: Victoria Wenger,, 202-728-9557

February 11, 2015


Advancement Project Condemns Recent Acts of Violence and Intolerance

A Statement from Advancement Project

WASHINGTON – A recent series of assaults throughout the U.S. have revealed the danger of hatred and intolerance based on religion, nationality, gender identity and race. In North Carolina, Chapel Hill students of Muslim faith, 21-year-old Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha; her husband Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were shot and killed in their home by a White neighbor. In Madison, Ala., a 57-year-old grandfather visiting his family from India was beaten and left paralyzed by police. In New Orleans, the death of 21-year-old Penny Proud, a Black trans woman, marked the fifth murder of a trans woman of color in the nation since the start of 2015 alone. In response to these atrocious attacks, the national civil rights group Advancement Project released the following statement condemning all acts of hatred and intolerance:

“Violence against anyone based on their religion, nationality, gender identity or race exposes the most brutal forms of intolerance,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis. “As Dr. King and others admonished, we must never adjust to violence and injustice, but continually expose such brutal acts and advocate for a beloved community. Our brothers and sisters from all walks of life deserve more than safety and tolerance – they deserve full inclusion and equal rights. They deserve dignity and respect. Our thoughts are with the families of those most recently targeted by these tragic acts of violence across our nation. We stand with those who demand that justice is served.”

“The acts of apparent hate witnessed in recent days and weeks raise the urgency of confronting intolerance in our nation,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Penda Hair. “The violence that stains our nation’s past cannot continue to be relived in our present. Communities around the nation must come together and rise up against discrimination and targeted violence toward their neighbors. Creating a more just democracy depends on the equal treatment of everyone, and our society relies on the safety and acceptance of all people. As we learn more about the events of Feb. 10, we encourage law enforcement officials to conduct swift and fair investigations, and to promptly pursue a just prosecution where required.”

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Advancement Project is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier eras.