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'Love lives here' event at Florida Holocaust Museum aimed at rise in hate crimes

ST. PETERSBURG –– As hate crimes rise across the United States, community leaders plan to hold a "Love Lives Here" event Thursday evening at the Florida Holocaust Museum to stand in solidarity with those who have been targeted by such acts.

The goal, organizers say, is to encourage the community, institutions and individuals to foster "greater understanding and connection rather than fear of differences."

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Mayor Rick Kriseman, community leaders and faith organizations plan to start the event with a 6:30 p.m. news conference. That will be followed by a panel dsicussion of faith and community leaders will also hold a discussion, according to Equality Florida Action, Inc.

The event is being held in response to an increase in hate crimes and violent incidents that include a rash of bomb threats made against Jewish community centers, racist and anti-LGBT graffiti and an arson fire last week at the Islamic Society of New Tampa.

These groups plan to participate: Love Not Fear, Florida Holocaust Museum, Emerge USA, Anti-Defamation League, Interfaith Tampa Bay, Equality Florida Institute, Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, Congregation B'nai Israel of St. Petersburg and the Historic Bethel AME Church.