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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A “Stand Against Racism and Hate,” a peaceful gathering that included people from all walks of life, was held in downtown Pittsburgh Friday.

Standing in solidarity, shoulder to shoulder, hundreds of people lined up in front of the YWCA in downtown Pittsburgh.

“With the rise of hatred and intolerance in the country, this is an important event, both collectively and individually,” YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh CEO Magdeline Jensen said.

For two hours, the 200-plus people who signed to stand – along with students, local leaders and people passing by who felt moved to join – made a statement: hate harms everyone.

“It’s very important these days to pay attention to justice and equality,” Jensen said. “That’s what we’re about.”

peduto stand against racism hate Pittsburghers Stand Against Racism, Hate At Downtown Gathering

(Photo Credit: Bryan Orr/KDKA)

The YWCA and YMCA stand for peace, justice and liberty for everyone.

“We stand for making sure we bring communities together, and we do so in a very inclusive way,” said Kevin Bolding, president and CEO of the YWMCA of Greater Pittsburgh.

Leaders say it’s encouraging to see so many local organizations and companies coming together.

“Around this country right now, and certainly within the city of Pittsburgh, there is really a need that people want to see that individuals are standing up,” Mayor Bill Peduto said.

Peduto wants everyone to know the city government in Pittsburgh stands with them.

“I think we constantly have to be reminded that unless a society remains vigilant, rights that have been guaranteed to everyone can be taken away,” he said, “and in Pittsburgh, we don’t support any hateful talk, but we also don’t support actions that would be taken that would limit the given rights of any individuals.”

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