Fighting Fear: Combating Hate Crimes, Violence & Xenophobia in Modern America

While the national spike in hate crimes and other xenophobic acts has left many sounding the alarm, especially in the wake of several high-profile incidents involving the Asian-American Pacific Islander community, others simply see this spike as just the latest in an historic legacy of hate crimes in America.

This conversation examines several key questions facing our nation today: What is driving this latest wave of aggression? How have past events in American history laid the groundwork for increasing hate crimes along racial, ethnic, and religious lines? How can government agencies like law enforcement and the legislative branch work together on swift and effective solutions? And what role, if any, can Good Samaritans or the private sector play in facilitating the pursuit of understanding and peace between us?



Tom Kim, General Counsel, Thomson Reuters


Marcia Ferranto, CEO, National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum


  • Cynthia Deitle, FBI Special Agent in the Civil Rights Program (Ret.); currently Director of Associate General Counsel – Civil Rights, Facebook
  • Paul Goldenberg, Chairman and President, Cardinal Point Strategies; Senior Fellow Rutgers University Miller Center and Policy Advisor for Center on Policing
  • Cpt. David Hong, Asian Community Liaison, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
  • Dr. Yohuru Williams, Professor of History and Founding Director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas
  • Ted Gong, Executive Director, 1882 Foundation

Sponsored by


Cynthia M. Deitle

Cynthia M. Deitle

Cynthia M. Deitle

In March 2021, Cynthia M. Deitle joined the Civil Rights Team at Facebook as their Director, Associate General Counsel. Deitle focuses on civil rights, specifically the intersection of law enforcement, hate crimes, investigations, and outreach.

Prior to joining Facebook, she served as the Director of Civil Rights Reform at the Matthew Shepard Foundation for four years and led their national hate crime enforcement training program for law enforcement officers and prosecutors.

In 2017, Deitle retired as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after serving for 22 years specializing in civil rights, particularly in the fields of hate crimes, police abuse and misconduct, community outreach, and victims’ rights. Following the events on September 11, 2001, Deitle volunteered to lead the FBI’s efforts to assist the families who were impacted by the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. In 2007, Deitle was promoted to a Supervisory Special Agent position in the Civil Rights Unit and was promoted again in 2008 to Chief of the Civil Rights Unit in the FBI. In this role, she managed the Hate Crimes, Color of Law, and Human Trafficking programs on a national level. She also devoted considerable time to managing the FBI’s Civil Rights Cold Case Initiative. In 2011, Deitle transferred to the Boston Division to supervise the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Programs in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. After the 2015 Boston Marathon bombing, she volunteered to assist the families who lost loved ones in the attack. She finished her career in the Knoxville Division where she spent time strengthening the Human Trafficking program.

Deitle is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, and a cum laude graduate of New England Law Boston where she earned her Juris Doctor degree. Deitle earned a Master of Laws degree in Criminal Law from New York University School of Law and a Master of Laws degree in Constitutional Law from the George Washington University National Law Center. She is licensed to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, and Tennessee. Deitle was featured in a February 2011 episode of 60 Minutes dealing with an unsolved Civil Rights Cold Case investigation in Mississippi, and she appeared in the first season of Investigation Discovery’s series Injustice Files.

Deitle is a proud granddaughter of Mexican immigrants. She and her wife and son reside in Tennessee.

Paul Goldenberg

Paul Goldenberg

Paul Goldenberg

Mr. Goldenberg, President of Cardinal Point Strategies, Senior Fellow at Rutgers University, and Distinguished Visiting Fellow for Transnational Security for University of Ottawa is a highly decorated 30-year criminal justice and global security professional recognized by America’s leading national security publication as the Most Influential Person in Homeland Security for 2021.

At the request of the United States Secretary of DHS, Mr. Goldenberg led several highly sensitive national commissions, such as the 2019 Subcommittee for the Prevention of Targeted Violence Against Faith Based Communities, several of the recommendations were adopted by US Congress for implementation. He additionally chaired the DHS National Cyber Security and Foreign Fighter Task Forces. During Europe’s recent wave of terror attacks, senior police officials from the UK, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, and France, requested his guidance for the purpose of building capacity between vulnerable communities and national police. Mr. Goldenberg and his team worked on the ground across Europe during and following the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

His public career includes more than two decades as a former senior official for the New Jersey State Attorney General’s Office, Commissioner/Director of the nation’s 6th largest social service and juvenile justice system, and as principal law enforcement officer heading investigation efforts for nationally renowned cases of domestic terrorism, hate crimes, political corruption, and organized crime. His law enforcement experience included serving five years as a deep undercover agent for the South Florida Strike Force where he often operated out of hostile environments and carried out complex assignments, including the infiltration of organized crime cartels engaged in gun trafficking and stolen vehicles. For his efforts, Paul was recipient of Florida’s most distinguished law enforcement medal for valor in line of duty: Officer of the Year. His on-the-ground works led to the prosecution and arrest of over 150 offenders.

In 2004, at the request of members of U.S. Congress, Mr. Goldenberg spearheaded an international law enforcement mission for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the world’s largest government security enterprise, during which he operated in more than eight European nations including Ukraine, Hungary, Kosovo, and Croatia tasked with advising government and NGOs on topics such as community conflict, hate crimes, and the advent of transnational extremism. Many of his recommendations were implemented throughout Europe. Mr. Goldenberg has received numerous honors while working as a law enforcement officer in urban Essex County, New Jersey. Mr. Goldenberg has testified before the U.S. Congress, Presidential Commissions, the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, EU, Helsinki Commission, and appeared as an expert panelist and guest speaker at transnational security forums, both in the U.S. and abroad. He has been profiled, interviewed, and has also contributed to leading tv shows and publications worldwide, including Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Der Spiegel. He has received numerous honors from Muslim, Jewish, Christian, African American and Asian Indian advocacy groups, and organizations here in the USA and abroad.

Cpt. David T. Hong

Cpt. David T. Hong

Cpt. David T. Hong

Cpt. Hong joined MPD in 2007, serving as an officer in the diverse First District, which encompasses Chinatown, and as a sergeant in the Fifth District, which supports Gallaudet University and much of the District’s sizable Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Cpt. Hong has also worked in the Sixth District, supervising areas that include Latino and LGBTQ+ communities and partners.

Cpt. Hong brings substantial investigative experience to SLB as well. He spent four years working to protect the city’s most vulnerable population as a Detective Sergeant, supervising MPD’s detectives investigating child physical and sexual abuse, and internet crimes against children.

Cpt. Hong’s parents emigrated from South Korea to Rochester, New York. Lt. Hong’s work with MPD has been shaped by his childhood experiences. Watching his parents tackle numerous challenges as immigrant small business owners taught him the importance and impact of positive relationships with the police.

Dr. Yohuru Williams

Dr. Yohuru Williams

College of Arts and Sciences dean Yohuru Williams

Dr. Yohuru Williams is Distinguished University Chair and Professor of History and founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Williams received his Ph.D. from Howard University in 1998.

Dr. Williams is the author of Black Politics/White Power: Civil Rights Black Power and Black Panthers in New Haven (Blackwell, 2006), Rethinking the Black Freedom Movement (Routledge, 2015), and Teaching beyond the Textbook: Six Investigative Strategies (Corwin Press, 2008) and the editor of A Constant Struggle: African-American History from 1865 to the Present Documents and Essays (Kendall Hunt, 2002). He is the co-editor of The Black Panthers: Portraits of an Unfinished Revolution (Nation Books, 2016), In Search of the Black Panther Party, New Perspectives on a Revolutionary Movement (Duke, 2006), and Liberated Territory: Toward a Local History of the Black Panther Party (Duke, 2008). He also served as general editor for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s 2002 and 2003 Black History Month publications, The Color Line Revisited (Tapestry Press, 2002) and The Souls of Black Folks: Centennial Reflections (Africa World Press, 2003). Dr. Williams served as an advisor on the popular civil rights reader Putting the Movement Back into teaching Civil Rights.

Dr. Williams has appeared on a variety of local and national radio and television programs most notably ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Aljazeera America, BET, CSPAN, EBRU Today, Fox Business News, Fresh Outlook, Huff Post Live, and NPR and was featured in the Ken Burns PBS Documentary Jackie Robinson and the Stanley Nelson PBS Documentary: The Black Panthers. He is also one of the hosts of the History Channel’s Web show Sound Smart. A regular political commentator on the Cliff Kelly Show on WVON, Chicago, Dr. Williams also blogs regularly for the Huffington Post and is a contributor to the Progressive Magazine.

Dr. Williams’s scholarly articles have appeared in the American Bar Association’s Insights on Law and Society, The Organization of American Historians Magazine of History, The Black Scholar, The Journal of Black Studies, Pennsylvania History, Delaware History, the Journal of Civil and Human Rights and the Black History Bulletin. Dr. Williams is also presently finishing a new book entitled In the Shadow of the Whipping Post: Lynching, Capital Punishment, and Jim Crow Justice in Delaware 1865-1965 under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Ted Gong

Ted Gong

Ted Gong

Ted Gong retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2009. He worked on policies, laws and operations related to visas, border security, immigration, refugees, citizenship, and consular services. He served in American Embassies and Consulates in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Taipei, Manila, and Sydney and at the Departments of State and Homeland Security. He is the Founder-Director of the 1882 Project Foundation, a non-profit organization that broadens public understanding of the history of Chinese in America through programs to preserve oral histories and sites, conduct teacher workshops and curriculum, and build collaborations and best practices among APA museums and public educators. He is President of the DC Lodge of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance and National Vice President for Policy, a founding member of the Fairfax County Asian American Oral History Project, and organizer of monthly Talk Story Events held in Chinatown Washington DC and other educational programs and conferences. He was a founding member of the Fairfax County Community of Trust. Ted was educated at the University of California in History, University of Hawaii in Asian Studies, and U.S. Army War College in National Strategic Studies. He received the Frederick Douglass 200 Award in 2019.

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