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New Yorkers take part in 'Unity Summit' to discuss ways to combat hate crimes and violence across the state

The event in Manhattan was part of continuing efforts in New York State to fight the growing rise in hate crimes.

NEW YORK — More than 500 New Yorkers — from politicians to faith leaders to public safety experts — took part in the state's first-ever Unity Summit to talk about hate and ways to prevent it.

Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch delivered the keynote address.

The discussions held extra meaning for some as we near the one year mark of the racist violence at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. The summit opened up with a video featuring hate crime survivors, and there were familiar faces from Buffalo including Zeneta Everhart, whose son Zaire Goodman who was shot and wounded on May 14, 2022.

RELATED ARTICLE: Wrongful-death lawsuit filed as the one-year mark since the Tops mass shooting nears

"No one should ever live in fear of being targeted because of the color of their skin, their ethnicity, their religious beliefs, their disability, how they identify, or who they pray to. So, how do we right these wrongs? This is when leadership matters. Standing up together against these cowardly acts," Gov. Kathy Hochul said at the event.

Governor Hochul talked about the state's red flag gun laws making a difference to keep guns out of the hands of people who are deemed a risk to others and themselves.

She also announced an additional $25 million will be made available to organizations at risk of hate crimes and vandalism. The money will go to help organizations enhance security measures in vulnerable places and support trainings, public awareness campaigns, and other outreach efforts across the state. 

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