Unity Coalition of the Poconos
P.O. Box 1174
Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania 18322-1174 USA
To file Civil Rights complaints: 717 787-9025
Phone: 570 895-4993
The Coalition was started in 1993, as a result of a
cross burning in Stroudsburg PA. A representative of
the Monroe County Branch of the NAACP and members of
the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Poconos
met at the home of Art and Sally Freedman to discuss
their concerns for the victims of hate crimes in our
community. The Coalition was formed as a result of that
meeting. Bob Hillman was appointed Chairman of the new
organization called the Monroe County Unity Coalition.
The name was later changed to the Unity Coalition of
the Poconos (UCOTP). The name change allowed people
from outside the county to feel that they were welcome
to join and participate in the activities of the group.
The first public meeting of the UCOTP was held at East
Stroudsburg University on February 1994.
function of the Unity Coalition has been to offer a
"Positive Response to the engative activities of hate
groups and individuals who perpetrate acts of hate in
our community. If a family is the victim of a cross
burning, we send a group of our members to let them
know that there are people who care about them in the
community. We also offer to plant a tree or flowers
on the spot where the cross was burned so the family
will see something of beauty planted by people who care
rather then a burned spot in their yard put there by
people who hate. We also contact all of our members
and ask them to send cards and letters to the family,
again to let them know there is more good in our community
We clean up hate graffiti whenever
it appears in our community. We feel that on the first
day the graffiti shows hp on a building, sign,
tree or rock it is shame on the person who put it there.
But if it is allowed to remain in view for a few days
or weeks, it is shame on the community that allows it
to do so. By allowing it to stay in view, we are perceived
as condoning the message and the beliefs of those who
put it there. We have found that when people see hate
graffiti, they don't say "look at what someone did",
they ask "what kind of community is this that would
allow this to remain in view".
The Unity Coalition has presented a number
of community forums, TV programs and other
activities designed to inform people of
some of the problems affecting our area.
The forums promote dialog between the various
groups that make up our community. It is
our hope that if we can get people talking,
we can increase their understanding of each
other and help them remoe the barriers caused
by ignorance and misunderstanding.