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Friday, March 11, 2022

U.S. Civil Rights Leader Welcomes Community Outreach Efforts by PH Consulate in NY

Reverend Alfred Charles Sharpton (rightmost) expressses his interest to bring communities together during the courtesy call of Consul General Elmer G. Cato (third from left) at the National Action Network Office in Times Square on Wednesday, 23 February 2022. Also in the photo are Michael A. Hardy, General Counsel of the National Action Network (leftmost) and Vice Consul Tanya Faye O. Ramiro (Photo by National Action Network staff)

– American civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton has applauded the efforts of the Philippine Consulate General in New York to reach out to other communities to address the surge in hate crimes. 

The American civil rights activist, who is also one of the leaders of the African-American Community in the United States, welcomed the Consulate’s initiative to encourage dialogue among those affected by racism and bias during a courtesy call by Consul General Elmer G. Cato.

“We can only combat hate if all communities stand united against hate,” Consul General Elmer G. Cato told Reverend Sharpton during their meeting at the National Action Network (NAN) office in New York City on Wednesday, 23 February 2022.

Consul Genera Cato requested the meeting in the wake of the continuing violence against not only the members of the Asian -American Community but other ethnicity and groups as well.

Statistics from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) Hate Crimes Dashboard show a total of 524 hate incidents were perpetrated against New Yorkers due to race, sexuality, religion, and other biases in the past year. The NYPD has also reported 1,100 percent increase in overall reported cases of hate crimes.

Reverend Alfred Charles Sharpton (left) and Consul General Elmer G. Cato (right) shake hands after the latter's courtesy visit at the National Action Network corporate office in New York on 23 February 2022. Consul General Cato and Reverend Sharpton agree to work together to foster dialogue among various community leaders to address hate crimes and other incidents. (Photo by Jasmin Rodriguez)

“We need to start breaking down the walls that prevent us from knowing and understanding each other” Consul General Cato said.

During the meeting, Consul General informed Reverend Sharpton that the Consulate is seeking to expand and strengthen its engagement and partnerships by networking with various communities in the city and by initiating dialogues with local government officials and business and community leaders.

Reverend Sharpton saith that Consul General Cato’s courtesy call “should be used as an opening for a dialogue.” He also agreed with the proposal. 

The meeting concluded with the Reverend inviting the Consul General in April to the Convention of the National Action Network, a not-for-profit civil rights organization he founded 31 years ago, and talks of having a solidarity march in the city.


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