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McCain Institute’s Preventing Targeted Violence Team Joins the Eradicate Hate Global Summit

Mar 11, 2024 | 2024 News Release, News Release, News Stories, Top 5 news items home page

New president will lead the next stage of the Summit’s growth.

PITTSBURGH, PA – Pittsburgh’s Eradicate Hate Global Summit and the McCain Institute are pleased to announce that the McCain Institute’s Preventing Targeted Violence team has joined the Summit as it expands its initiatives to prevent hate-fueled violence.

Brette Steele, previously the senior director of the McCain Institute’s Preventing Targeted Violence program, will serve as the president of the Eradicate Hate Global Summit, and her current team from the McCain Institute has also joined the Summit.

The McCain Institute launched the Preventing Targeted Violence program in 2020. In the four years since its inception, the McCain Institute incubated and championed novel targeted violence prevention programming, including:
➢ Prevention Practitioners Network – the first-of-its-kind national network of interdisciplinary professionals dedicated to preventing targeted violence, terrorism, and their impacts.
➢ SCREEN Hate – a nationwide campaign and resource hub aimed at caregivers and concerned adults looking for ways to keep youth safe from dangerous online messaging that could incite hate-based violence.
➢ Invent2Prevent – multiple competitions to empower students to create and deploy products, tools, or initiatives to address targeted violence and terrorism.

“We have all seen the urgent need for national and international programs and resources to combat hate-based violence,” said McCain Institute Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Farkas. “We are proud of our Preventing Targeted Violence experts for the extraordinary accomplishments
they have achieved in the last four years at the McCain Institute. Now with the Eradicate Hate Global Summit, they are poised to accelerate their work’s impact even more with the potential to save lives.”

The Eradicate Hate Global Summit was created in response to the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, when a heavily armed gunman killed 11 worshippers from three different congregations at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on October 27, 2018. Other worshippers, as well as first responders, were seriously wounded. The Summit quickly became the most comprehensive, multidisciplinary, anti-hate initiative in the world. Its mission to reduce all forms of hate-fueled violence parallels the efforts of the McCain Institute to prevent targeted violence.

In addition to her development of successful prevention programs at the McCain Institute, Steele has broad experience coordinating violence prevention programs across the U.S. government and collaborating with leading global academics, interdisciplinary prevention professionals, policymakers, and non-governmental organizations in the anti-hate field. “We are grateful to the McCain Institute for its support in incubating these programs over the past four years,” Steele said, adding, “We are incredibly excited to have this new opportunity to assume leadership roles in advancing the most comprehensive anti-hate conference in the world, which includes a full agenda of meaningful year-round programming for Eradicate Hate.”

“Brette and her team are among the pre-eminent leaders in the anti-hate field globally. We could not be more excited about them joining us,” said Laura Ellsworth, one of the co-founders of the Eradicate Hate Global Summit. “The exceptional work that Brette and her team have done at the McCain Institute to spearhead solutions to prevent identity-based violence is a perfect fit for our Summit, and we look forward to continuing and expanding their work.”

“Both through her work at the McCain Institute and through her earlier government service, Brette Steele has earned extraordinary respect across the country and around the world. She also already has made important contributions to the Eradicate Hate Global Summit,” said Mark Nordenberg, the other co-founder of the Summit. “Having worked directly with her, we have seen first-hand how Brette’s leadership can accelerate this critically important effort. This is a truly transformational development for the Summit.”

Steele is succeeding Chuck Moellenberg, who was named President of the Eradicate Hate Global Summit nonprofit corporation last year. To enable Brette and her team to focus on prevention programs, Moellenberg will continue to serve the Summit as its chief administrative officer. Ellsworth and Nordenberg praised Moellenberg, saying that “his talent, commitment, and hard work have been absolutely essential to advancing the Summit’s important work.

Building on the McCain Institute’s groundbreaking prevention programs, the Eradicate Hate Global Summit’s new professional staff will enhance and extend the critical work being done by the Summit. It is expected that the Summit – which can be viewed as a living memorial to those who were killed or wounded on October 27, 2018 — always will be held and headquartered in

Pittsburgh. However, Steele and her current team members will work remotely, as they did for the McCain Institute. “Having team members in Washington, D.C. and California, as well as in Pittsburgh,” Ellsworth noted, “will further advantage the Summit as it continues its global fight against hate-fueled violence.”

  • To see a video interview with Brette Steele, click HERE.
  • For more information about the Eradicate Hate Global Summit, click HERE.
  • For background information on Brette Steele and the team, click HERE.

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About the Eradicate Hate Global Summit
The Eradicate Hate Global Summit grew out of the 2018 massacre of members of three congregations worshipping at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. That attack left eleven worshipers dead and others seriously injured, including courageous first responders. Antisemitic and anti-immigrant hatred motivated the heavily-armed gunman, since convicted, who attacked the synagogue. The Summit’s organizers refused to let Pittsburgh be defined as a city victimized by hate. Instead, they launched the most comprehensive, multidisciplinary anti-hate initiative in the world. Each year, it brings to Pittsburgh over a thousand global participants – including experts and leaders, from many professions, disciplines, and sectors — who are committed to taking action to prevent all forms of hate-fueled violence.

About the McCain Institute at Arizona State University
The McCain Institute is a nonpartisan organization inspired by Senator John McCain and his family’s dedication to public service. We are part of Arizona State University and based in Washington, D.C. Our programs defend democracy, advance human rights, and empower character-driven leaders. Our unique power to convene leaders across the global political spectrum enables us to make a real impact on the world’s most pressing challenges. Our goal is action, not talk, and like Senator McCain, we are fighting to create a free, safe, and just world for all.

EHGS logo

My network of professionals working on countering hate in all its forms grew exponentially after attending Eradicate Hate in 2021. The myriad voices represented at Eradicate Hate, from big tech companies to academic researchers to those with lived experience, reinforced to me the importance of cross-cutting and collaborative approaches to counter hate and its devastating impacts on society. I’ve been fortunate to sustain and build those networks with many of those I met at Eradicate Hate in 2021.

Rajeev Ramchand
Rajeev Ramchand Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation