If loves comes from the heart, where does hate come from? This is a question many of us are asking in light of the June 17, 2015 Emanuel A.M.E. Church murders. The nine victims were in one of the safest places they knew, in their house of worship.

When those individuals left their homes, the thought of never returning probably didn’t cross their minds. The national conversations around race relations that our nation is engaged in right now demands that we pay attention to messages that we are exposed to daily. The value of human life and dignity are essential to cultivating a generation that will live out the true meaning of America’s creed.

The American Conference on Diversity is dedicated to working with individuals and organizations to educate and empower leaders to eliminate hate. We would like this senselessly tragic incident to increase our awareness of the importance of standing up against hate. Our vision is to make our nation a better place for all of us — not just some of us. We encourage people of good will to not sit on the sidelines and watch things happen or even ponder over what just happened. We have a shared responsibility in making sure that our places of worship are safe.

The A.M.E. churches have been at the forefront of justice and equality for decades. The New Jersey Conference of African Methodist Episcopal churches dates back to 1872. As the nation mourns the loss of a great leader and members of the congregation, we must remain vigilant in the fight for social justice. In the lives lost, we must find hope in humanity.