Galvanising Leeds Towards A Hate Free City

Galvanising Leeds Towards a Hate Free City

Galvanising Leeds Towards A Hate Free CityOn 14th June, in Leeds Civic Hall, people from community groups, charities, the city council and the police came together, with a common goal – to ‘Galvanise Leeds’ towards being a Hate free city.

Organised by Stop Hate UK, the event was held in association with Safer Leeds and Passion Works CIC and was one of the first of its kind in the city, in terms of having such a diverse audience, made up of those at the forefront of the city’s Hate Crime Strategy, but also those who are no less involved yet, until now, have perhaps not had the platform or the access to such resources.

The event had received funding and assistance from the National Lottery Awards for All, Leeds’s Community Safety Partnership, Safer Leeds and the University of Leeds.

After a welcoming address from our very own Chief Executive, Rose Simkins, it was the turn of Harvinder Saimbhi, Head of Anti-social Behaviour for Leeds City Galvanising Leeds Towards a Hate Free CityCouncil, speaking as Head of Operational Delivery, gave a great presentation on the progress made by the Leeds Hate Crime strategy and its priorities for 2018.

We then welcomed Leeds GATE, the award winning community members organisation for Gypsies and Travellers, who presented a video they had made themselves, highlighting the issues faced by the group’s members. This was followed by a passionate address from Sophia Thomas, Director of TransLeeds, who provide support and advocacy for all trans* identifying people across Leeds.

The morning’s keynote speeches were rounded off by Stop Hate UK’s Director of London Services, but in his guise as Chair of the Government Independent Advisory Group (IAG) talking about the Hate Crime National Strategy and Priorities.

Prior to the day of the conference, delegates were invited to select to participate in a number of workshops, facilitated by various groups and individuals and it was at this point the audience divided to join their chosen morning workshops.

The morning workshops were run by West Yorkshire Police, Stop Hate UK, Ann Chapman Consultancy and Leeds Development Education Centre & Voice Influence & Change Team, covering such topics as transport, reporting and monitoring Hate Crime in Leeds, what communities should be included and young people, respectively.Galvanising Leeds Towards a Hate Free City

After a break for lunch, the afternoon workshops commenced, featuring topics such as Online Hate, Hate Crime in public places (city centre and nighttime economy, what makes a ‘safe place’ and engaging reporting and signposting in Leeds.

These workshops were delivered by Aspire CBS, the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, Stop Hate UK and Tea and Tolerance.

 

After another welcome refreshment break, the afternoon moved into a plenary session, introduced again by Rose Simkins, who welcomed the Ambassador of the Jo Cox Foundation and lead on the ‘More in Common’ movement, Kim Leadbeater, who delivered a rousing address on just how the tragic death of her sister Jo Cox has completely changed her life and focus, which certainly touched many members of the audience.

After a feedback session from each of the workshop groups, it was left for Rose to close the day and thank all the attendees, speakers and facilitators, plus those who had helped to organise this amazing and unique day.Galvanising Leeds Towards a Hate Free City

Commenting on the day, Rose said “We are very proud that Leeds is such a diverse city, but we need to ensure that all people, whatever their identity, feel part of it and, when we say diverse, are we including everybody?  We need to ensure that all voices are heard and that we all feel safe and secure in Leeds. I hope this event means there will now be a raft of things we can introduce that will make it even better.”

To find out more about Stop Hate UK or Galvanising Leeds, visit our website by clicking here.

Spread Love Not Hate

❤️ Spread Love, Not Hate. ❤️

I write the first blog of 2018 looking forward to another successful year for Stop Hate UK, packed full of events, initiatives and our continued work to challenge all forms of Hate Crime.

Spread Love Not Hate

It’s only the middle of February and we’ve already seen 2 successful ‘Hate Crime Awareness Weeks’ in Merseyside and Greater Manchester, where Stop Hate UK played a key role in supporting the many things happening in both areas and there’s so much more to come in 2018!

These weeks also coincided with the launch of our new ‘Spread Love, Not Hate’ campaign.

Our new campaign has been launched in response to the many tragic events, that we witnessed in 2017, but also to remind ourselves of our very own vision statement;

“We dream of a society which is free from hate, harassment and discrimination, where all people are valued for their unique identity.”

When I reference our vision statement, I am also reminded of the great quote from the American poet and civil rights activist, Mary Angelou, that;

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”

So, we think our new campaign to ‘Spread Love, Not Hate’ really resonates with our core values and vision, but also uses language that people can really relate to and get behind.

As part of the campaign, we’ve launched a range of new merchandise, available to buy to show your support and, of course, spread the love! Just visit our online shop to take a look at the new items, together with our existing range of Stop Hate UK products.

We’re really looking forward to 2018 and building on our successes in 2017 and we hope you’ll join us in spreading the love.

Rose Simkins

Chief Executive, Stop Hate UK

Statement on Srebrenica Memorial Day 2017

Srebrenica Memorial Day

This year, we are recognising the 22nd anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, during which thousands of men and boys were systematically murdered, simply because they were Muslim. As an organisation that works with people affected by racism, we feel it is vital to commemorate Srebrenica to take a stand against hatred and discrimination that targets groups based on their religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or any type of difference.

During the course of the conflict that took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s, between 20,000 and 50,000 women were raped, and sadly in societies all over the world, including our own, there still remains a lot of stigma around sexual violence. This year, we are working with the charity Remembering Srebrenica to commemorate the genocide, and to reflect on the experiences of women in conflict. Remembering Srebrenica’s theme this year is Breaking the Silence: Gender and Genocide, you can read more about it on their website: www.srebrenica.org.uk

As part of this, we want to recognise the strength and resilience of women who have survived conflict, and our commitment as an organisation to challenge sexism and gender based violence within our own communities.

It is now more important than ever for us to come together as people in the UK, no matter what our background, to celebrate diversity and to stand together in solidarity against hatred and discrimination. We hope you will join us in mourning the loss of those who died at Srebrenica, and reflecting on how we as individuals, groups and communities can come together to build a better future without hatred.