YMCA, Jewish community and JASMYN stand together to educate, advocate for LGBTQIA+ community

The Jewish Community Alliance, First Coast YMCA and JASMYN (Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network) will hold their second “Together Against Hate” event at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Friday Musicale on Oak Street in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

The event will cover issues concerning LGBTQ+ communities. The first event in the multi-part series focused on racism.

“Together Against Hate” is a simple message and one Heather Terrill with JCA wants the community to hear loud and clear.

“If we can impact a percentage of the community, we’ve made some kind of progress,” Terrill said.

The JCA launched the initiative earlier this year with First Coast YMCA, following a rash of antisemitic incidents in the community.

Their message became more urgent in August, following a racially motivated shooting at a Jacksonville Dollar General.

They held their first event last month, focusing on racism, and Terrill said these forums are an opportunity to have tough conversations.

“We wanted to provide a safe space where people could ask questions they wouldn’t be comfortable asking a family member or someone who may have an opposing view,” Terrill said. “To be able to have a safe dialogue and share and also learn, because that’s the biggest thing we want people to learn from this.”

Tuesday’s event will spotlight JASMYN, a local LGBTQ+ advocacy group focused on youth. JASMYN will lead a panel discussion about LGBTQIA rights and advocacy.

“I think any kind conversation and any conversation that could possibly improve people’s dialogue on any tough conversation is a step in the right direction,” Terrill said.

On Nov. 7, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League will discuss ways to fight antisemitism, a timely issue in light of the recent attack by Hamas on Israel.

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