Unity In The Community

Chairperson                    Vice Chairperson                  Secretary/Treasurer
Taalibah Hassan                Kathy Clark                       Gregg Reynolds
thassan3@hotmail.com           mrsctwinsis@hotmail.com           gregg_reynolds@yahoo.com 
703-878-3066                   703-368-5771                      571-278-9584

We are people of faith working together to prevent discrimination, hate and violence in all its forms in Manassas, Manassas Park and Prince William County Virginia.

Purpose
Our purpose is to combat racism and all other forms of discrimination, hate and violence in our communities. We strive to accomplish this purpose by providing support to assist those who have been targeted and by working with the Manassas, Manassas Park and Prince William County Virginia governments to help examine incidents and propose methods for preventing future hate crimes in our communities. We strive to improve the laws that prosecute hate and other violent crimes in Virginia.

Mission
Our mission is to cultivate an appreciation of all the cultural heritages in Manassas, Manassas Park and Prince William County Virginia. We work to accomplish this by 1) promoting cross-cultural understanding, 2) educating the public in anti-bias skills, cultural diversity and basic human rights and by 3) explaining the laws and consequences of hate crimes and other behaviors that incite violence and fear. We work pro-actively to engage all residents in helping to meet these goals to prevent crimes and other destructive behavior.

A Brief History of Unity in the Community
In the fall of 1995 Illana Naylor and the Manassas Church of the Brethren addressed letters to local congregations inviting them to share the richness of our diversity and to begin planning an event that would draw public attention to the problems of intolerance facing our communities. In the following months, Illana Naylor and Debbie Rubenstein co-chaired the effort to bring a major community event to fruition. Many places of worship, community organizations and citizens from Manassas, Manassas Park and Prince William County participated. A key component of this first event was the showing of the documentary film “Not in our Town,” and the development of a plan of action by discussion groups following the film. This plan continues to be a driving force for our work.

Accomplishments
We are pleased to say that with the help of community agencies, leaders, and elected officials, together we have accomplished the following:
1) Prince William County, Manassas City and Manassas Park have passed resolutions declaring these communities Hate-Free and Bigot Free zones.
2) The Prince William County Police Department developed a brochure about hate crimes to educate the public and implemented a Worship Watch program for Houses of Worship at risk of vandalism.
3) The Prince William County Public Schools sponsor institutes and workshops to acquaint teachers and students with the multicultural diversity in our community.
4) The Prince William County School Board voted to stop considering students absent for the purposes of perfect attendance when they are attending religious services.
5) Unity in the Community provided support for the change in Virginia law that increased penalties and improved the ability of public defenders to prosecute perpetrators of hate crimes.
6) Unity in the Community organized passive neighborhood action to boldly state that messages of hate and intolerance perpetrated by KKK leafleting are not welcome in our communities. The hate leafleting stopped and remains in check.