Ayrshire College successfully hosts Ayrshire’s first-ever hate crime conference

Ayrshire College successfully hosts Ayrshire’s first-ever hate crime conference

Ayrshire College and its partners in the Ayrshire Equality Partnership successfully held a hate crime conference called ‘Empowering communities in Ayrshire to end hate crime’ on Wednesday 5 October 2022, at the College’s Kilmarnock Campus.

The conference, attended by over 120 delegates, including some Ayrshire College students, aimed to inspire and empower delegates to challenge the attitudes, actions and behaviours which underpin hate crime.

The Ayrshire Equality Partnership is made up of Ayrshire College, the Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board, the three Ayrshire councils, Community Justice, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Police Scotland and the University of West of Scotland (UWS).

Hosted by Dave Scott, Campaign Director of Nil by Mouth, a national anti-sectarianism charity, the conference featured keynote addresses from Dr Christian Harrison, Reader in Leadership – UWS, and Khadija Mohammed, Senior Lecturer – UWS, a choice of workshops and networking opportunities with a host of organisations.

Keynote speaker Khadija Mohammed said: “This was such an important and much-needed event to bring together diverse communities across the public sector to raise awareness of hate crime and provide the opportunity to discuss how we can collectively address this.

“Education is a powerful vehicle to disrupt the status quo and encourage young people to think critically about what they are learning and challenge the negative stereotypes that continue to influence and shape behaviours.”

Police Scotland representative, Superintendent Shaheen Baber, said: “Hate crime should have no place in society and will not be tolerated. Everyone has a right to live safely as their true and authentic selves, without fear of prejudice.

“We understand it can be hard for people to report a hate crime, and in some cases to even recognise or acknowledge that they have been a victim.

“Every complaint is professionally and thoroughly investigated, and we treat people who bravely come forward with sensitivity, respect and dignity. We also offer further support to victims of crime through referrals to a number of partners.”

Ayrshire College CEO and Principal Angela Cox, who opened the conference, said: “The conference has been an accumulation of the efforts, hard work and determination of the Ayrshire Equality Partnership; a partnership intent on showing that it is through the coming together of local partners in this way, that collective and individual change for the better is possible. That our ambition for safe, inclusive communities can be a reality.”

The College podcast show, Rockpool Podcasts, recorded a special episode on the day of the Conference from the Kilmarnock Campus featuring delegates and speakers in attendance. The episode is available on Spotify.

For more information on reporting hate crime to Police Scotland, visit: https://www.scotland.police.uk/contact-us/reporting-hate-crime/

For more information on Ayrshire College’s Report + Support online reporting tool for students and staff, visit: https://reportandsupport.ayrshire.ac.uk/

For information on the College’s progress on mainstreaming equality and Equality Outcomes 2021-2025, visit: Equality and Inclusion 

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