In the wake of Trump, a top Jewish and a top Muslim organization are banding together.

​Donald Trump's election has touched off a wave of uncertainty and fear across the country — particularly among members of marginalized groups targeted during his campaign and those who have been singled out for harassment after his victory.

An anti-Trump protest in Seattle. Photo by Jason Redmond/Getty Images.

Since Trump's election, over 200 hate crimes have been reported across the country as of Nov. 15, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The troubling trend goes back further — the FBI's latest hate crime report shows a 67% spike in hate crimes, mostly against Muslims, from 2014 to 2015.


In December 2015, Upworthy reported the story of a young Muslim-American girl who feared being deported after watching a news report about Trump, leading a group of veterans to send her messages of support. 2015 also touched off an increase in anti-Semitism, according to an Anti-Defamation League report.

President-elect Trump's early campaign pledge to ban Muslim immigration to the United States "until we figure out what is going on" alarmed many Muslim-American leaders and citizens. The appointment of Stephen Bannon — a far-right publisher whose website has traded in anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic rhetoric — to the top strategy post in the White House, has only inflamed concerns.

Now, some protection might be coming in the form of a collaboration between two surprising groups: the Islamic Society of North America and the American Jewish Committee, which are banding together to form the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC).

The council includes representatives from the worlds of business, politics, and faith, including former Sens. Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut) and Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota), businessman Farooq Kathwari, and author and "Serial" activist Rabia Chaudry.

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (left) and Ethan Allen Interiors Chairman Farooq Kathwari, MJAC board members. Photos by Alex Wong/Getty Images (left) and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

According to a statement from the new task force, first reported in Haaretz, the group's mission is threefold: combatting anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, celebrating the contributions of Jews and Muslims to American civic life, and pushing for expanded rights for religious and ethnic minorities.

Jewish and Muslim groups have been active on multiple fronts since the election results came in. The Council on American-Islamic Relations has rededicated itself to providing support to Muslim-Americans frightened by the outcome of the election and building bridges to other groups in a show of solidarity. Bend the Arc Jewish Action released an open letter to members of groups targeted by the president-elect during the campaign promising support.

This is not just an inspiring show of unity — it's critical right now.

Organizations like the MJAC could help make a huge difference in the coming years.

Following months of bigoted campaign rhetoric — and the troubling elevation of figures like Bannon to positions of power and influence in the White House — millions of Americans are suddenly wary that harassment and violence may soon become an uncomfortable fact of life.

Collaborations like this are a hopeful signal that regular citizens are willing to reach across ethnic, religious, and gender lines and take care of each other.

The election is over.

How we react to what comes next will speak volumes about who we are as a country.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.