By Naeisha Rose
Sutphin Boulevard BID will be among the 21 business improvement districts across Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx rallying for diversity while combatting racism and bigotry with the “Hate Has No Business Here” campaign. Demonstrators will gather at the Civic Court Plaza, located at Sutphin Boulevard on 89th Avenue in Jamaica Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Thousands of businesses represented by those bids will display posters, flyers and postcards featuring the American flag with the stars replaced by a heart and the campaign’s message translated into nine different languages, including Arabic, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Korean, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian and Urdu.
“The objective of the campaign is to really let people know that it is safe to do business here, and that we do not tolerate hate. This is a safe environment for both the shop owners and the customers,” said Glenn Greenidge, the BID’s executive director. “We are tolerant and inclusive and we want people to know that when they come here they are going to be protected.”
Amanda Neville, a wine shop owner in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn within the Myrtle Avenue BID came up with the idea for a cohesive campaign after a fellow business owner was attacked with hate speech on social media.
“I thought it would be powerful to come together with one message and one visual to signal that we stand together and for each other,” Neville said.
Adam Snetman, a friend of Neville and the founder of Starting Now, a design shop in Long Island City, helped design the patriotic logo.
“We wanted a symbol that was affirmative,” Snetman said. “We centered the message with love, because it is positive and that is where the heart comes from. It was an opportunity to connect the themes of the campaign with the values that unite us all as Americans, that is how the American Flag came into the picture.”
“I think that it is important that people band together to protect each other and let our neighbors and friends in all these communities know that we have their backs,” Snetman said.
Greenidge said there will be a multicultural performance, and a balloon release will close the ceremony.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose