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Tuesday: Embrace Diversity, A Plea For Peace @ Asbury Hall

In light of the appalling hate crimes recently reported in the city, which appear to have been targeted at members of the LGBT community or those perceived to be associated with that community, United We Stand: Buffalo is presenting an event called “Embrace Diversity,” to unite people of all backgrounds in an effort to make our entire city safer.

Event organizer Yvonne White, owner of Adonia’s on Allen Street, says the event will be “a peaceful, organized protest, and an opportunity to present our case to our leaders, and see how they are going to help us.”

The two incidents both occurred within a one-day period. The Cheektowaga police captain who investigated an attack at the Walden Galleria told the Buffalo News that “this is pretty much a coincidence. This is something we rarely see”—but there are many who would differ. Artvoice theater editor Anthony Chase says, “I have personal experience of being gay-bashed in Buffalo, and at the time, I didn’t even bother to call the police. I find it comical when people say it’s a rare event—that’s just ignorance and smug complacency.”

In an effort to create a community liaison program between the Buffalo Police Department and the LGBT community, a petition has been posted online and will be available to sign at Wednesday’s (Jan. 20) event at Asbury Hall. The petition requests “equitable police surveillance and the addition of a police camera system on the corner of Main Street and Allen Street (pictured) to further discourage acts of this heinous nature and to protect each and every individual in a healthy and safe manner.” It also requests “an LGBT/Police Liaison program with which to certify our concerns and develop strong and sensible solutions to avoid such issues in the future.”

Ani DiFranco and Scott Fisher donated the space at Babeville for this event. Police Chief Donna Berry will speak, along with government and LGBT community leaders, and there will be a performance by the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus. Visit http://www.petitiononline.com/UWSB2010 to sign the petition online, or sign it at the event on Wednesday night.

7-9pm. Asbury Hall @ Babeville at the Church, 341 Delaware Ave.