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Preface

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Preface


Why Do We Need a Community Toolkit?

 

It is the right of every individual to live a life free from hate crime/activity.

 

Hate crime and incidents are activities that cause harm or threaten harm to the physical security, property, or dignity of an identifiable group, a person affiliated with an identifiable group, or someone perceived to a member of that group. Hate incidents such as name calling and racist slurs, can escalate to property damage and violence that meet the standard of hate motivated crime. These activities threaten not only individuals, but are designed to create fear in the entire target community. Numerous recent examples of hate activity in Canada demonstrate the need for a coordinated and collaborative effort to address these issues.


This toolkit and the resources herein are designed to help communities address hate as it arises in their community. It is designed to help community partners identify what hate is, what laws exist, and how it can be addressed through strong community action, education, prevention and partnerships. It also contains information on how we, as individuals, and as collectives, can protect youth and individuals targeted by hate activity.


This toolkit offers step by step suggestions for responding to hate and preparing a strategy and plan of action in your community to create inclusive and welcoming neighbourhoods for all citizens. Find out what others are doing, adopt innovative practices and learn about different events that can be held to counter hate.

 

It is a resource that can serve as a template for local communities to target hate activity at the local level, and ensure an increased coordination in response to hate crimes. This benefits the community by creating a flexible template to address its unique needs; it will benefit police services by providing a mechanism to work more closely with the community to identify, prevent, and respond to hate activity; and it will provide the justice system with recommendations on standardized training, prosecution and adjudication of these types of crime. Ultimately, this three-pronged approach will create a more integrated and holistic approach to dealing with hate in our communities. 

 

This framework builds on a number of community roundtables and the work of the Alberta Provincial Hate Crime Committee. It reflects research on definitions, crime collection techniques, and community responses to hate. It is not intended to prescribe specific actions to be taken, but to provide a foundation from which each community can develop its own plan. It also serves to set direction for the Province of Alberta and the judicial system in developing a comprehensive, collaborative and standard approach to hate crime and activity in our province.

 

This is a long-term process involving many stakeholders. We hope that this framework can help build and maintain momentum to develop commitment to action at every level from individuals, to communities, organizations, agencies, police, courts and the provincial government.

 

How to use the Toolkit

 

The on-line and hard copy manual can be seen as a guide to familiarize the reader with the many forms of hate and effective methods to deal with it. Each chapter or section, addresses a different aspect of hate activity. While it starts from understanding and builds chapter by chapter to action and resources, feel free to jump in wherever your interest takes you!

 

The Tools and Resources section has templates (e.g., applying for a grant, writing letters to media, news releases, etc.), reports, publications, articles and checklists. You’ll also find related websites and downloadable pamphlets and other promotional materials.

 

Under the tab marked ‘evaluation’, there is an opportunity for you to provide feedback on the toolkit. What do you like? What is missing? How have you used it in your community?

 

The Alberta Hate Crime Committee hopes that your community will develop actions to ensure that Alberta is welcoming and provides opportunities for all of us.               

 

This toolkit aims to:

 

          Highlight the work of the Alberta Hate Crime Committee

 

          Educate communities on what hate is and hate crime legislation

 

          Provide tools to prepare a community response strategy/action plan


          Share promising practices from other communities

 

          Assist with event planning

 

          Provide suggestions for partnerships with and understanding of target communities

 

          Share information on how to assist targets of hate and report hate activity

 

          Educate community, police and justice communities on the roles they can play

 

          Learn how to recognize the signs of hate and protect your children

 

          Provide tools and resources to assist in gaining support