stand-with-meStefano Obata, Nottingham ParliaMentors 2015-16

Hate-crime is a hot-topic, both within university and in the local community. The issue has begun to be addressed relatively recently, but we felt that there were gaps in people’s knowledge existing institutions to combat it. That’s what our project Stand With Me is all about.

Nottingham has such a diverse population both within the two universities and across the city. In our ParliaMentors team reflected this diversity so we felt this was an important and relevant issue to focus our social action project around. It’s an issue that we were passionate about, as it had affected all of us personally in different ways.

When we started to look in to the issue found that people rarely report hate crime and that the number of hate crimes committed in Nottingham was 5 times higher than those reported. We also came across many existing organizations dealing with hate crime. However these groups rarely talked to each other and we felt we were in great position to get them together to start a conversation about how we tackle this growing problem in Nottingham.

Having reached out to so many organizations relating to hate crime in Nottingham we felt that what we could offer was a way to bring these organisations together in order to

  • Create – Creating synergy between existing groups to aid their endeavors to reduce Hate Crime.
  • Educate – local students through informative events and a social media campaign.
  • Report – Providing guidance on how to report hate crimes to the relevant authorities

We’ve just put the finishing touches to a documentary highlighting what hate crime is and we’ll be using this to launch our campaign. You can watch the documentary here.

Being part of ParliaMentors, a network of students who are creating something new, exciting and meaningful for the people of Nottingham and beyond, helping our communities come together in the face of attitudes of fear and misunderstanding feels incredibly rewarding. When we struggled struggled to identify concrete objectives, other ParliaMentors and 3FF team were there to help us through our issues, and always on hand with helpful guidance!

At the end of February we’ll be holding a summit inviting students, educators, and members of the local community onto campus with various seminars and panel-sessions looking the modern face of hate crime and how communities can respond to it.

Check out our events at https://standwithmenotts.wordpress.com/