The Center believes it is essential that hateful acts be publicaly denounced so that perpetrators do not mistakenly think that their behavior is acceptable and take their actions even further. It is also important that those in the community who are most affected feel supported.
In 2008, residents across Maine rallied against hate. In Portland, over a hundred people gathered in Monument square in October where they listened as a local man shared how strangers questioned his sexual orientation, called him anti-gay slurs and proceeded to assault him. In November, prominent civil rights leaders joined the Governor and the NAACP at the University of Southern Maine to denounce the rise in racial incidents following the election of Barack Obama. On Thanksgiving weekend, more than 150 Hallowell residents assembled along the River Trail to condemn the KKK signs.
At each rally, Executive Director Steve Wessler shared the same important message. In his words, “The most important question we should be asking ourselves today is, ‘what will we do tomorrow, next week, next year?’ To prevent events like these from repeating, we must stand up against bias and prejudice every time we hear it in our daily lives.”