Gayle King Moderates Talk On Intolerance And Modern-Day Activism

Source: Danielle Layton

Mar. 21 2024, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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Cultural and community center92NY hosted a panel discussion on racial tolerance on March 7 in New York City, with award-winning journalist Gayle King serving as moderator. Dr. Clarence B. Jones, former speechwriter and counselor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kraft, CEO of the New England Patriots and founder of the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCA) were panelists.

Jones and Kraft sat down to shed light on the importance of the Jewish and Black alliance and the work of their own partnership today. On the legacy of collaboration in reference to Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Jones said, “He came to understand that no way possible would we ever be able to enact the Civil Rights Act of 1963…or the Voting Rights Act of 1965 but for the 24-7 alliances of the Jewish community. It would not have happened.”

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Moderator King expressed her own thoughts on the topic of unity and alliances. “We are more divided now than ever before whether it is Black, white, Democrats, Republicans,” she said. “We have got to figure out a way where we can have civility in this country.” 

Kraft detailed his frustrations related to taking a stance against antisemitism. “It really bothers me that everyone is staying in their lane, and we need more people coming up and speaking out. People are afraid. They’re afraid to speak out.”

“People have to listen to each other,” he added. “People aren’t listening to other people anymore and that’s what we need more than anything in my opinion.”

The night’s discussionfurther focused on the collaboration between Kraft and Jones. Jones is chairman of nonprofit Spill the Honey where, according to their website, they “use the transformative power of the arts to change hearts and minds and seeks to move people to act for social change.” The organization released a film called “Shared Legacies: The African American-Jewish Civil Rights Alliance,” featuring civil rights leaders and activists including Rev. C.T. Vivian, Rabbi Capers C. Funnye, Harry Belafonte, the late Congressman John Lewis, and others. The event also featured the showing of a video featuring the moment Kraft informed Dr. Jones he would play his commercial, “Silence,” during the 2024 Super Bowl.

The event closed with remarks from New York City Mayor Eric Adams. He shared his “three beliefs” to “combat hate”: “One, we must command social media to do better. Two, we have to regain control of institutions of higher learning. And lastly, we need to celebrate our diversity.”

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By: Danielle Layton

Danielle Layton is a multimedia and mission-driven storyteller based in NYC. She works in marketing production and is a freelance journalist with a passion for telling stories that encourage, empower, and evoke meaningful change. She enjoys using her personal platforms to encourage the purposeful journey. When she isn't telling stories, you can find her sharing her favorite vegan recipes on her food Instagram @plantifullymade.

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