Read a PDF of our statement here.

Yesterday, the White House hosted the “United We Stand” Summit,  a full-day event designed to celebrate the equal dignity of all people and resist the rising current of hate-fueled violence that in recent years has traumatized marginalized communities and threatens to undermine America’s multiracial, multiethnic, and multicultural democracy. During the Summit, the Biden Administration announced a menu of initiatives to combat violent bigotry and promote national unity.

Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Director of Policy and Director of LDF’s Washington D.C. Office, Lisa Cylar Barrett, who attended the Summit, released the following statement:

“The United We Stand Summit was an important and well-planned convening that demonstrated the Administration’s recognition of the importance of addressing the scourge of hate-fueled violence. Critically, the summit included members of communities impacted by prior instances of hate-fueled violence, including residents of Buffalo, El Paso, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta, who shared stories honoring those killed during the horrific attacks and provided insight regarding how they are recovering and rebuilding after experiencing this senseless violence.

“While one summit will not — and cannot — adequately address the hatred and violence that have disfigured democracy in America since the nation’s founding, we commend the Administration for the message and stance conveyed by hosting the Summit. This issue requires a commitment from all levels to combat violent bigotry wherever it festers — be it on social media, in the traditional media, among law enforcement, or within the armed forces. Furthermore, it is essential that all proposed solutions to violent extremism do not trample on the civil rights and civil liberties of the very people who are most endangered by hate-fueled violence.

“Moving forward, LDF will be closely monitoring — and, where appropriate, supporting — the anti-hate initiatives announced during yesterday’s Summit. We call on all those who believe in an America founded on diversity, tolerance, antibigotry, and the rule of law to join us in ensuring that the Summit was the beginning, and not the culmination, of a larger movement to align the promise of American democracy with the lived experience of the millions of people who live in the shadow of extremist violence and hate.”


Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.