Breaking barriers to reporting hate crimes
UIC will host the Hate Crimes Summit Oct. 25 to raise awareness of hate crimes and break the barriers to reporting them.
The event, “Bridging Systems Against Hate,” takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Student Center East. UIC first hosted the event in 2014; this year’s event is the second summit sponsored by the Chicago Hate Crimes Coalition.
“We’re trying to educate the community on what’s happening so that people become more aware of hate crimes and report them,” said Joanna Thompson, Ph.D. candidate in criminology, law and justice and member of the Chicago Hate Crimes Coalition.
Scheduled events include talks on topics such as how law enforcement officers respond to hate crimes, how hate crimes affect LGBTQ youth, how to have difficult conversations, and more. The day will also include student research poster presentations, and bystander intervention and active shooter trainings.
“Within the city of Chicago, hate crimes are not decreasing and are very underreported,” Thompson said. “We realized that we had to do something to bring together law enforcement, organizations, educators and other groups to really address hate crimes and reduce the number of hate crimes.”
The event is free and open to UIC students, employees and community members.
“We can all play a role in stopping hate crimes,” Thompson said. “Everyone should walk away knowing that they are all touched by hate violence in some way, but we can do something about it, whether it’s talking about it with friends, educating ourselves or reporting it.”
UIC sponsors of the event include the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Department of Criminology, Law, and Justice; Disability Resource Center, and Gender and Sexuality Center.