PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The idea for an international summit that will bring a former U.S. president, among others, to town started with this thought: How can we make sure Pittsburgh is better known for its response to hate than for hate itself?
The Eradicate Hate Global Summit was a response to the attack at the Tree of Life synagogue three years ago. It remains the worst anti-Semitic attack in this country’s history.READ MORE: How Leaders From Different Congregations Came Together To Participate In Tree Of Life Remembrance Ceremony
Mark Nordenberg is one of the co-chairs of the summit. For 18 years, he led the University of Pittsburgh as chancellor. The chancellor emeritus is now hoping to lead all of Pittsburgh and the world away from hate.
He said the city itself actually started down that path almost immediately after the synagogue attack.
“There already was a coming together, as you saw the stronger than hate logos surfacing all over the community and as people from very diverse groups said, this is wrong, we’ve got to do something, let me help. I think Pittsburgh is a very special place and the summit is a campaign in part to build on that spirit of Pittsburgh and extend it more broadly than our own community”, said Nordenberg in an exclusive interview with KDKA.READ MORE: Allegheny County Leaders Call For Another Extension On Countywide Eviction Moratorium
Nordenberg said the role of the internet and social media will be among the topics discussed because if technology can be used to spread hate, he said there have got to be ways to use it to curtail the spread of hate.
However, Nordenberg concedes, “It is a highly aspirational goal to talk about eradicating hate. I think it was Nelson Mandela who said love is stronger than hate. And if you look at the world around you, that may be true. But it also is true that love seems to need a helping hand, and we’re hoping that we can provide that through this summit.”
Nordenberg said the summit will be an annual event, with hopes for tangible results, including new laws or policies to curb the spread of hate and perhaps new ways of ensuring justice for victims of hate.MORE NEWS: 11 Trees Planted In Schenley Park Commemorate Lives Lost 3 Years Ago At Tree Of Life
The summit begins Monday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The public can register to attend here. The sessions will also be livestreamed.