Shusterman, Webster to co-host ‘Town Hall on Islamophobia: Confront Hate, Celebrate Diversity’ on June 13

HARRISBURG, June 5 – State Reps. Melissa Shusterman and Joe Webster will co-host a town hall discussion on Islamophobia next week.

“Town Hall on Islamophobia: Confront Hate, Celebrate Diversity,” will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. June 13 at the Islamic Society of Greater Valley Forge, 958 N. Valley Forge Road, Devon, PA 19333.

Panel experts will deliver opening addresses, respond to audience questions, and talk about what community members can do to stand together against intolerance and build a more inclusive and diverse community.

“While our differences can often invoke fear and misunderstanding, I hope this event will open lines of communication between our residents. This is an opportunity to learn about the common goals that our diverse communities can accomplish together for the commonwealth,” said Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery.

Webster said: “Freedom to worship is at the heart of our democracy. Together, we can preserve that freedom and ensure our communities are welcoming places for everyone.”

State Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, D-Phila., will moderate the panel. In addition to Shusterman and Webster, the panel will include Robert Reed, Pennsylvania executive deputy attorney general; Timothy Welbeck, civil rights attorney for the Center for American-Islamic Relations – Philadelphia; and Marwan Kreidie, professor at West Chester University.

Seating is limited, so RSVP is requested at this link.

The town hall is among other legislative efforts to address discrimination and the growing problem of hate crimes, which increased by 17 percent in 2017 in the United States.

Shusterman introduced H.B. 392, which would amend the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act to make it easier for workers to identify and report harassment and discrimination on the job. Shusterman and Webster are co-sponsoring H.B. 635, which would expand what constitutes a hate crime.