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Inaugural Indiana Response to Hate Conference to raise awareness of hate-based crimes in Indiana

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The Central Indiana Alliance Against Hate (CIAAH) will host the inaugural Indiana Response to Hate Conference on Thursday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. at the Indianapolis Marriott East Hotel, located at 7202 E. 21st St. The first-of-its-kind event will bring together people committed to combating and addressing hate-based crimes and incidents, as well as provide hate crime prevention training.

The CIAAH is a project of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana and was created to reduce the occurrence and combat the consequences of hate crimes and hate-based incidents occurring in central Indiana. It was formed in March 2017 thanks to a $125,000 “Communities Against Hate” rapid-response grant awarded to Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana from the Open Society Foundations and has grown to include more than 45 nonprofits, organizations and businesses, plus individual members. The formation of the CIAAH is in response to Indiana being one of only five states in the country without a hate crimes law, despite Indiana being ranked as the 13th state with the most active hate groups in 2016. At least one time per week, on average, Hoosiers are targeted for violence or vandalism because of who they are, where they come from, and/or what they believe, according to FBI data.

“Over the past two years the number of hate crimes and hate-based incidents has increased and escalated in Indiana. It is important that we come together as a community to reduce hate and promote love and acceptance by creating resources for how to respond to hate, and by serving as a network for victims of hate to come to for assistance,” said Amy Nelson, executive director at Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana. Conference attendees will hear presentations from:

  • Amy Nelson, executive director, Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana
  • David Sklar, Jewish Community Relations Council
  • Miriam Zeidman, Anti-Defamation League
  • Tony Mason, Indianapolis Urban League
  • Jeannine Bell, author and Indiana University law professor
  • Rima Khan Shahid, Muslim Alliance of Indiana
  • Amber O’Haver, Indiana Statewide Independent Living Council
  • Lydia X.Z. Brown, disability rights advocate
  • Judy Shepard, anti-hate crimes activist and mother of Matthew Shepard
  • Jacqueline Patterson, Indiana Transgender Wellness Alliance
  • Pardeep Kaleeka, Serve 2 Unite
  • Barbara Bolling-Williams, NAACP Indiana State Conference
  • Hilary Shelton, NAACP-Washington D.C. Bureau
  • Kelly Rota, U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Ryan Mears, Marion County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Kerry Steiner, Indiana Native American/Indian Affairs Commission
  • Michael Thomas, spoken word artist

Registration for the all-day event is $55 per person to attend and is open to the public. For further information or to view a full conference agenda, visit fhcci.org/events/response-2017.

Keep up-to-date with the event on Facebook at facebook.com/cINaah.

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