Joe Biden will host a summit next month at the White House to combat hate-fueled violence.
The White House announced Friday that Biden will host the “United We Stand” summit on Sept. 15 to highlight the “corrosive effects” of violence on public safety and democracy.
Following the killing of 10 black men at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in May, supporters urged Biden to host the event to also address hate-fueled violence in cities such as El Paso, Texas, Pittsburgh and Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
As President Biden said after the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo earlier this year, “in the fight for the soul of our nation, we must all join in this great cause of America,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“The United We Stand Summit will provide an important opportunity for Americans of all races, religions, regions, political affiliations and lifestyles to join together in this cause.”
Biden will deliver a keynote address at the meeting, which the White House said will be attended by civil rights groups, religious leaders, business leaders, law enforcement, gun violence prevention advocates, former members of violent hate groups, victims of extremist violence and cultural figures.
The White House emphasized that it intends to bring together Democrats and Republicans, as well as federal, state and local leaders.
Biden has often mentioned the white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 that prompted him to return from political retirement to challenge Donald Trump in 2020. In that campaign, he promised to work to bridge political and social divides and promote national unity.
Sindy Benavides, executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said the summit was created after the Buffalo massacre because his organization, the Anti-Defamation League, the National Action Network and other groups wanted to put pressure on the Biden administration to address extremist threats more directly.
“As civil rights and social justice organizations, we fight this every day, and we wanted to make sure that we recognized that the government has a leading role to play in combating right-wing extremism.
The White House did not release the list of speakers or attendees. It also did not want to pre-empt any policy announcements. Officials pointed out that Biden signed the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act last year and released the first National Strategy to Combat Domestic Terrorism.
Benavides said the summit will help the country address hate-motivated violence, but he also hopes “long-term solutions” will be found.
“It’s important that we address mental health, gun control reform, and misinformation and disinformation,” he said.
“We want policymakers to focus on common-sense solutions so we don’t see this kind of violence in our communities anymore. And we want to see policies implemented that will reduce violence.