“We forget how many similarities we have:” Durham Region to host international hate studies conference
The number of reported hate crimes is on the rise, both in Canada and the United States.
With everything from the protests in Charlottesville to pro-white graffiti signs, it seems nowhere is immune. Dave Selby from the Durham Regional Police Service said, “It’s present in every community. Durham is no exception. We do get calls related to hate crime and we investigate each one fully”.
Many scholars, media pundits and politicians believe we are in a new era of hatred, where various cultures and groups around the globe face persecution, and in some cases, genocide. In the weeks following both the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the election of Donald Trump in the United States, hate crimes surged to levels not seen since the aftermath of 9/11.
Dr. Barbara Petty from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology said that there are even more avenues in how we get our information, which doesn’t help. “Traditionally we have had newspapers and then media outlets,” Dr. Perry added. “Now the internet and social media has magnified all that”.
Every two years, members of the International Network for Hate Studies (INHS) gather to discuss the latest research and findings. This is where over 120 researchers from around the world get together and discuss the latest in hate crime. For the first time, the INHS biennial conference is coming to North America. According to Dr.Perry this will “not just [identify] the problems but will identify a solution.”
The conference coincides with the launch of the university’s new Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism, a research consortium of academics and community partners led by Dr. Perry. This will serve communities on a regional and global level “whether it’s training around diversity in the workplace or being an ally for the LGBTQ communities,” Dr. Perry said.
During the conference there will be two keynote speakers:
Wednesday, May 30 at 10 a.m.
- Justice Harry LaForme: Resetting the Indigenous Canadian relationship: Thoughts towards reconciliation. Justice LaForme is the first Indigenous person in Canadian history appointed to sit on any appellate court.
Thursday, May 31 at 9 a.m.
- Maurice Tomlinson: One Love to Hate: Some recent hate crime experiences of LGBT people in the Caribbean
Even though there are still public displays of hate, Dr. Perry has some advice. “We forget how many similarities we have with people that we think are so different,” she said. “And until we start to cross those boundaries and cross those bridges we aren’t going to move very far in terms of eradicating the hatred.”
“That’s the theme of our conference.”