How it Started

The Eradicate Hate Global Summit grew out of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

On October 27, 2018 a heavily armed gunman shot and killed 11 innocent worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue. Many others, including responding police officers, were wounded.

Although some of the physical injuries of the survivors have since healed, the wound that Pittsburgh and entire nation sustained on that day remains open and painful. It was as if the gunman had targeted America’s very acceptance and tolerance of all people, along with the country’s rule of law, which exists to provide protection for all people.

Purpose Driven Summit

Overall, the summit is intended to foster the development and implementation of technology, systemic and rule of law initiatives to counter hate around the world. The summit will explore the causes of hatred-driven acts of extremism, as well as, religious, ethnic, racial, sexual orientation, and gender-related attacks.

Rule of law initiatives are predicated on a society’s acknowledgement of the importance of having laws that help define acceptable behavior and actions. They are built on a foundational understanding that laws can go a long way toward suppressing hate and extremism, in the process both protecting potential victims and strengthening our sense of community.

It is also driven by a desire to honor the victims of the Tree of Life attack, including both worshippers and those who sought to protect and heal them. One of the biggest tributes that can be paid to both the victims of the attack and their loved ones is a coordinated search for solutions to hate and extremism. That is the foundation upon which the summit is being built.

The Summit will drive actual solutions by providing a structure that continuously facilitates and encourages experts to work collaboratively across disciplines, institutions, cultures and even borders. Hateful rhetoric that prompts dangerous extremist actions is a global problem. The summit is intended to help find solutions that can be useful in countries around the world. Successes, as well as setbacks, will be reported from participants in all global regions during each annual summit.

A distinguishing feature of this event is that we are focused on deliverables, not just dialog.

Specifically, there are four primary drivers behind this conference:

  • To share best practices developed by those experienced in the use of rule-of-law solutions.
  • To Increase the visibility of this work, so that victims of hate crimes are encouraged to seek help .
  • To increase public vigilance against hate crimes by highlighting community engagement projects.
  • To drive the progression of anti-hate efforts from one annual summit to the next by forming specific working groups to maximize advances.

Annual Summits and Collaboratory Against Hate – Research and Action Center Partnership

The inaugural Eradicate Hate Global Summit will form the foundation for recurring annual summits, which will take place on or around October 27, the date of the Tree of Life attack.

The goal is to have each summit build on the work of previous summit. To that end, special committees will be formed to ensure that the work is continuous and that progress is maximized. Our intent is to drive actual deliverable solutions, by bringing together the best and the brightest from around the world, and providing an ongoing working group structure that continually incentivizes those experts to work collaboratively across disciplines, across institutions, and across borders between each annual gathering, to deliver actual, lasting, and measurable change. At each annual summit, the Working Groups will present the results of their year-long work, and will plot the specific ongoing work for the year to come.

In another noteworthy development, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh have launched a multidisciplinary Collaboratory Against Hate – Research and Action Center, which was prompted by discussion undertaken in the aftermath of the Tree of Life attack.

The October 2021 launch of an ongoing project, with a permanent home here in Pittsburgh, that will generate specific solutions, not merely dialogue. That ongoing work to create this “translational research” arm of the anti-extremism field will occur under the auspices of the multi-disciplinary Collaboratory Against Hate – Research and Action center, a joint project of two world-class research institutions: Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

A close relationship between the Global Summit and the Collaboratory already has been built, and it is expected that the Collaboratory will become the permanent home for the conference and its working groups moving forward. Though the Collaboratory has been founded in Pittsburgh, participation in its programs will involve scholars from around the world, and it is expected that the solutions developed will be exportable and global in nature.