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Community

Symposium On Hate Goes Beyond Protesting

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An ex-skinhead will be the keynote speaker at a symposium against hate this weekend in the Quad Cities. 

Frank Meeink is with the organization Life After Hate. He will talk about why he joined a hate group and what ultimately convinced him to leave the group and embrace diversity.

Rabbi Henry Karp of the organization One Human Family QCA says it's important to humanize members of hate groups.

"Those who embrace hate are human beings who suffer from a disease that we call hate, and they need to be healed," Karp says.

One Human Family QCA organized rallies over the summer in response to flyers distributed in the area by the white supremacist group, the National Alliance.

Karp says protests are effective at showing the community condemns these messages, but they don't solve the underlying problem.

In addition to Meeink's speech, the symposium will explore what factors lead people to join hate groups.

"If we can understand what some of the root sources are, we can begin to consider how can we address these root sources in such a way as to heal the hate."

The symposium — titled 'Hate: We Shall Overcome' — will take place Saturday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moline. A $5 registration fee includes lunch.