By Bill Parry
Dozens of Jackson Heights businesses that are part of the 82nd Street Partnership have joined the “Hate Has No Business Here” campaign. The initiative was launched last week in 21 business improvement districts across the city.
The campaign’s goal is to inspire a conversation to combat narratives that purport racism, xenophobia, homophobia and misogyny, especially as they affect the city’s small-business community.
Each business will display posters, fliers and postcards with the campaign logo that features an American flag with a heart replacing the stars, designed to express the idea that love, kindness and acceptance are patriotic. The campaign was designed free of charge by Three Furies, a consultancy located in the Lower East Side BID, and Starting Now, a design shop located near the Jackson Heights BID.
“Our community’s vibrancy and success are due to its diversity,” 82nd Street Partnership Executive Director Leslie Ramos said. “Here, respect for each other’s culture, language, religion and sexual orientation is a way of life. We are an example of how diversity strengthens communities and the entire city.”
Campaign literature is translated into nine languages, including Arabic, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Korean, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian andUrdu . The 82nd Street Partnership is joining forces with the Business Center for New Americans to conduct outreach in Jackson Heights and surrounding communities.
“Humanity has no borders — same as art, same as love,” Urzua Center for Performing Arts in Jackson Heights owner Lily Urzua said. “Our difference is our beauty.”
The idea for a cohesive campaign originated with Amanda Neville, a wine shop owner in the Myrtle Avenue BID in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.
“One of our business owners in our community was targeted with hateful comments via social media immediately after the election,” Neville said. “Many of us along Myrtle Avenue were trying to speak out against divisiveness and hate. I thought it would be powerful to come together with one message, one visual to signal that we stand together, for each other.”
The group is also providing free digital logos and fliers to others who wish to join their movement. For the free download and a full listing of participating BIDs, go to www.hateh
“Our city’s small business community is incredibly diverse. We are not only embracing that diversity through this campaign, we are rejecting rhetoric that challenges how valuable it is,” Myrtle Avenue BID Executive Director Meredith Phillips Almeida said. “We timed the campaign to coincide with Independence Day because we believe that one of the most patriotic things you can do is love your neighbors.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr