Denver church organizes anti-hate gathering after Trump election 

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DENVER -- Hundreds of people packed a Washington Park church on Monday to speak out against a surge in violence against minorities.

Members of the congregation believe the surge is the product of President-elect Donald Trump's run for and election to the presidency.

The gathering at the United Church of Christ came as new numbers from the FBI showed a 67 percent increase in hate crimes against Muslims from last year.

Those in attendance, mostly white, said they're working to better understand their neighbors of color and from different religious backgrounds.

The event was called "What's Next? Resisting White Supremacy in a Trump World." It was organized on Facebook as a way to move white communities into bold action for racial justice, according to an online description.

"I think it's incredibly important for people, especially privileged people, to take part in the fight because it's so easy to oversee it," attendee Jamie Thompson said.

There was standing-room only at the progressive church just south of Denver Country Club. White people in the crowd were called on to better understand people of color through conversation.

"Showing up for racial justice is about getting white people activated," organizer Ben Joel Pingilley said. "A lot of people have questions and we're here to hopefully answer them and plug them into what they can do."

Monday night was also meant to organize people to spread a message of inclusion in many different ways, according to Pingilley.

"You can't reach everyone with a protest or with education," Pingilley said. "Everyone learns differently."

Many in the crowd, while unhappy with Trump's campaign rhetoric, were hopeful he will continue to speak out against violence as he did during a recent "60 Minutes" interview.

Until then, activists at the church said they will continue to fight for what they believe is right.

"People have hope and people need to be together to experience that, and I think that's going to be a really powerful force going forward," Thompson said.

Monday's event lasted more than two hours.

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