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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Karam Holds United Against Hate Program At Wilkes-Barre Area High School

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON - United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office held an event at the Wilkes-Barre Area High School to promote the Department of Justice’s United Against Hate initiative.  The event, which included federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, focused on educating students on how to identify, report, and prevent hate crimes. 

In its auditorium and broadcasted to over 2,800 students, the Wilkes-Barre Area High School hosted subject matter experts from the United States Attorney’s Office, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office; the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Mayor of Wilkes-Barre, the Luzerne County District Attorney, and the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department.  Presenters highlighted differences between hate crimes versus hate incidents and provided options for responding to hate incidents when situations do not constitute a federal or state crime. Presenters also distinguished unlawful conduct from protected First Amendment activity, including identifying protected speech versus speech that advocates violence or encourages people to commit hate crimes.

U.S. Attorney Karam previously hosted meetings in November 2022, in the Harrisburg area with an audience of various law enforcement agencies and community leaders from across the mid-state; in March 2023, at Scranton High School for students and community leaders; in December 2023, in Harrisburg and Scranton with Jewish faith leaders; and, January 2024, with Central York High School for students. Also, scheduled this month, U.S. Attorney Karam will meet with Islamic faith leaders.

“We are committed to reach young people, our future leaders, to ensure they understand the difference between speech that is protected under the First Amendment and crimes that threaten not just one individual but groups of people because of what they look like, who they love, and what faith they practice,” said U.S. Attorney Karam.  “The United Against Hate initiative continues to bring our communities together in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement in order to build trust and encourage the reporting of hate crimes and hate incidents.” 

Those who believe they are subject to hate crimes or incidents should contact local law enforcement and the FBI.  Members of the public may report possible civil rights violations at Anyone in the Middle District of Pennsylvania may also report civil rights violations to the Civil Rights coordinator of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania by calling 717-614-4911 or emailing

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Updated February 28, 2024