On 9th March, Chinese Welfare Trust, Protection Approaches and Newham Chinese Association hosted the first national conference on COVID-related hate, bringing together representatives from Chinese and ESEA community groups across England that have received training and support as part of our project funded by the National Lottery and the London Community Response Fund.
The conference provided an opportunity for members of the national network to share with each other and other stakeholders what they are doing to increase understanding of hate crime, and to support victims and witnesses. It was also an opportunity for community representatives to discuss their concerns around hate crime, the impacts the pandemic is having in their local communities, what support they would like to see in the future, and how they would like the national network to develop.
Sarah Owen MP opened the online conference in a pre-recorded video. In attendance were also representatives of our project funders who were invited to witness the positive difference their generous support has made to the staff and volunteers of Chinee and ESEA community organisations in equipping them with resources and training to rise to the challenge of Covid-related hate.
The national conference reaffirms the importance of collaboration between community groups and other stakeholders in the wider community. It is generally agreed that a community-led approach to combating racial hate crime is an effective way to help raise awareness among community members and bolster a robust support system for victims.
An outcomes paper with clear recommendations has been produced to capture the essence of the discussion at the national conference.