Shahid Malik – Former Minister – On the Need For Us All to Be Upstanders Against Hate

On leaving 10 Downing Street after an emergency summit called by then PM Tony Blair in the wake of the horrific 7/7 attacks, I recall encountering a huge media scrum gathered outside. My core message was that we had now been forced to confront our naivety and that words could indeed lead to deeds so heinous that hitherto they were unimaginable.

Of course, that was over 14 years ago and I was referring to unhinged ideologues who spouted extremist rhetoric but were regarded as ‘harmless’ – after all which rational person could take them seriously …….?

Though we have learnt much since then, today sadly it appears that some in public life happily skirt on the fringes of acceptable discourse naively or even wishfully believing that their words would not really have any harmful impact on our society.

Some in leadership positions clearly see fit to ignore the huge responsibility that goes with their privileged positions and are willing to utter words which corrode the relative cohesion in our society. To these individuals, of all persuasions and backgrounds, we have to send out a strong unequivocal message, that helping create an eco-system for hate and fear can never be a price worth paying for expediency and short-term gain because this is the real threat to our way of life.

As Chair of Tell Mama I know, as do our partners in the Jewish Community Security Trust, a tragic truth that hate crime seems to be on the rise year-on-year. And we all agree that the very least we should surely expect of those in public life is that they do nothing that contributes to making the situation more acute. Indeed, in a sane world we would expect them all to contribute to the defeat of hate but alas sanity appears in scant short supply in some quarters.

But it’s far from all doom and gloom. There are many in public and civic life who are now taking their responsibility very seriously, great role models who are becoming great activists. At last year’s event I talked of the challenge of getting out of our ‘comfort zones’ and I sincerely believe more people today than ever before have risen to that challenge – they are active, energised, engaged, aware and willing to create positive change. Indeed we will be recognising many today with our awards.

The principles of the challenges don’t change much – yes there’s a new global wave of populism, there’s new media and technology communications but none of that should be daunting. The fundamentals don’t change – as Burke reminds us that for evil to prevail all that is required is that good people do nothing.

So what do we need? Well we need a global consensus amongst governments that technology giants must continue to be scrutinised and must take their responsibilities seriously or pay the ultimate price.

We need to get our school curriculum fit to develop young people who are well rounded and equipped to face the challenges of the diverse society in which they live today and tomorrow.

We need our religious and non-religious institutions to mainstream and re-emphasise the notion of us all being equal citizens with equal rights and responsibilities and hurt to one is hurt to all.

We need to work hard to create greater mixing and greater understanding to allow sustainable cohesion in our community.

When we first came up with the concept of these anti-hate awards, we naturally aimed to showcase best practice, superb role models and outstanding courage and in that respect, they have proven an overwhelming success.

However, our ambitions did not end there. In truth we had another less overt agenda – we believed the Awards could become a unique platform, bringing together diverse groups and individuals under a common cause. I am delighted that today we have created an environment where increasingly we understand that the commonality we share is profound and the big differences that we perceived are unquestionably benign.

Thank you to all of you for sparing the time to be with us this evening and importantly, please stand proud because collectively we truly are part of the solution.

Sanjeev Bhasker to Compere the 2019 No2H8 Crime Awards

We are proud to announce that Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE will be compering the 2019 annual No2H8 Crime Awards. We would like to thank him for his support to the No2H8 Crime Awards and some more information on his professional background is listed below.

“Actor and writer Sanjeev Bhaskar gained publicity as creator and performer of the BBC hit series GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME. His film roles have included NOTTING HILL (Roger Michell), THE ZERO THEORUM (Terry Gilliam) and PADDINGTON 2.

Sanjeev led the cast in the BAFTA award-winning television series INDIAN DOCTOR which garnered record ratings and critical acclaim. He has appeared in the West End as King Arthur in Eric Idle’s SPAMALOT and in 2015 he played the role of Alawi in DINNER WITH SADDAM at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He also wrote and starred in THE KUMARS AT NO. 42 which had global success winning two Emmys, a BAFTA nomination, a British Comedy Award and the Bronze Rose at Montreaux. He plays DI Sunny Khan in ITV’s award-winning drama UNFORGOTTEN and has a prominent role in Danny Boyle/Richard Curtis film, YESTERDAY.”

We Welcome Six Time Olympian, Tessa Sanderson CBE, as a Patron of the NO2H8 Awards

We are proud to announce that Tessa Sanderson CBE has agreed to become a patron for the annual No2H8 Awards. 

Tessa ignited pride in the nation as she went onto win Gold in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and also competed in six Olympiads. She is the first black British woman to have won an Olympic gold medal and remains an inspiration for many women and young people from Black and Minority Ethnic communities, who want to focus their energies within sports.

 Commenting on becoming a patron for the NO2H8 Awards, Tessa said:

“It is an honour to have been invited to be a patron of the No2H8 Crime Awards. As someone who experienced racism in their early career, I have always encouraged diversity within sport and other areas of life, and it is always very disheartening to hear people are still experiencing discrimination, whether that be towards their gender, race or religious beliefs. I am proud of anyone who has taken a stance against intolerance and hatred, and congratulate everyone who is nominated for one of these awards, which highlights the bravery and hard work of individuals and organisations who are doing their utmost to rid our society of prejudice. I only wish I had the courage to do so when I was younger. I am so pleased to be a patron for such a good cause and look forward to working with team on the awards.”

The Home Secretary Comes Out in Support of the No2H8 Crime Awards

We are grateful for the following comments from the Home Secretary, the Rt. Hon Sajid Javid MP. The No2H8 Crime Awards have gone from strength to strength over the last 3 years and this year, we have the largest gathering of hate crime partners, police forces, politicians and members of the public, who work daily countering hatred, prejudice and intolerance.

Statement from the Home Secretary on the No2H8 Crime Awards:

“These awards are a powerful opportunity to promote what is positive in British society. We are lucky to live in a diverse, tolerant and open society and the people that we celebrate tonight have taken a stand for these important principles. Just as hate crimes impact right across our communities, those who confront such prejudice come from a wide range of faiths and backgrounds and we must take heart from that”.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Honours All Those Nominated for a No2H8 Crime Award

We are honoured to receive the following statement of support from the Mayor of Greater Manchester.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Over the last year coverage of hate crime has been all too prevalent across the news and on social media. However, that does make tonight’s message even more poignant and important, and it gives us an opportunity to recognise those individuals who have been a positive force in working to help end hate crime and be a positive influence in their community.

“Congratulations to everybody nominated for an award. You are all a credit to your communities and serve as an inspiration to us all.”

 

Deputy Mayor for London Congratulates All Those Nominated in the No2H8 Crime Awards

We have received the following statement from Sophie Linden, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime:

“I am hugely proud to be Deputy Mayor of such a diverse and multi-talented city, and our ability to celebrate difference is one of our greatest strengths.

“However, we know some communities are feeling increasingly isolated, threatened and victimised because of who they are, how they live, what they believe or who they love. That is why Hate Crime is one of the top priorities in our Police and Crime Plan, because no one should be made to feel afraid, or unwelcome.

“It is everyday acts of mutual respect, compassion, kindness and professionalism that make the difference and I applaud all those who stand up against discrimination. 

“Congratulations to all those who have been nominated for and receive a NO2H8 2018 Award for your efforts in challenging hatred, intolerance and bigotry.”

 

 

Statement by the Chairman of the Conservative Party – the Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP

We are honoured to have received the following statement of support from the Chairman of the Conservative Party – the Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP, in relation to the No2H8 Crime Awards.

“I am pleased to see that the National No2H8 Crime awards continues to impress, championing the brilliant work being done across the country.

 Our nation’s culture is enriched by families and people who have come here from all over the world. With faith, or celebrating or honouring past events and traditions, one person educates another. But we are also one community – and should never lose sight that when hate is spread, it is done so to everyone.

 No individual should live in fear or isolation, which is why we have reaffirmed our commitment to tackling hate crime by updating our Hate Crime Action Plan in July to offer greater resources and training to police officers. But there is more to do.

It gives me great pleasure to congratulate all those being honoured for their hard and tireless work towards tackling intolerance and prejudice. It is vital that we all work together to support cohesion”.

 

Greater Manchester Police Constable is Shortlisted for National Hate Crime Award

A Greater Manchester Police officer has been shortlisted for a high profile national award this month.

PC David Willetts has been nominated for the ‘Supporting Victims, Reporting Hate Crimes’ category of the No2H8 Crime awards 2018 in recognition for his work within the City of Manchester borough.

Winners will be announced at a celebratory gala dinner in central London on Thursday 13th September.

The awards recognise the important work that people do in communities up and down the country to stand against hatred, intolerance and prejudice.

PC Willetts has been a driving force behind supporting victims of hate crime and ensuring that hate crimes are reported in Manchester.

Policy makers, senior officials, hate crime agencies and community members will all be in attendance at the gala dinner.

PC Willetts said: “I’m very pleased to be shortlisted for the award and I’m looking forward to attending the event.

“The nomination is in recognition of the work which is being done within the City of Manchester to ensure hate crimes are reported and victims are supported.”

Every year hate crime brings misery to thousands of victims and it can be a frightening experience because they have been targeted because of who they are.

Attacks are often very personal and specifically targeted, which means it’s less likely to be a random attack.

NO2H8 crime awards are a coalition of organisations that work on tackling hatred, intolerance and prejudice including the Community Security TrustGALOPStonewall and the ‘No to Hate Crime’ campaign.

The awards recognise many individuals within communities who work tirelessly to ensure that the dignity of individuals is protected and ensure that everyone in our country should be able to live their lives free from fear.

This year’s awards theme is ‘Upstanders and Not Bystanders‘ which reflects the need to challenge hatred, intolerance and bigotry safely.

Lisa Wadham, No2H8 Crime Awards 2018, added: “We are delighted to confirm that David Willetts has been shortlisted for the Supporting Victims, Reporting Hate Crimes Award at this year’s awards.

“The event promises to be a fantastic evening which will celebrate the important work of ‘Upstanders’ in our society.”

Keep up-to-date with the awards on Twitter at @No2H8CRIME AWARDS or via the hashtag #No2H8 Crime Awards.

Statement of support from Extremism Lead Commissioner – Sara Khan

We have received the following supportive statement on the No2H8 Crime Awards from the Extremism Commissioner – Sara Khan. 

“Amid concerns of polarisation, intolerance and anger, it takes huge courage to stand up to hatred. It’s rarely the easy or popular option. We owe every one of the individuals celebrated today a huge debt, not just for the actions they’ve taken but for showing us a different way.

“The Commission for Countering Extremism wants to help everyone do more to challenge extremism. Hatred towards others can inspire people into extremism; extremism can normalise hatred in our society.

“People across the country are deeply concerned about the impact of extremism. Up and down the country brave counter extremists and activists are challenging those who seek to divide us. We need to support these brave people and build a coalition, a movement of all those people who are opposed to all forms of active hatred and extremism. These awards show that is possible.

“So I am delighted to say well done and a big thank you to the award winners, and to all the other unsung heroes who stand up to hate and extremism. You are the backbone of our country. As Millicent Fawcett said: “courage calls to courage everywhere”. Let’s say No2h8, let’s unite all those who believe in tolerance, equality and diversity and together let us defend and preserve these values which are the very foundations of our country.”

Sara Khan, Lead Commissioner, Commission for Countering Extremism

June Sarpong to be Presenter at the No2H8 Awards 2018

We are honoured to announce that TV presenter and social commentator, June Sarpong MBE, will be presenting at the annual No2H8 Awards in mid September.

Ms Sarpong MBE has regularly commented on the need to tackle racism, prejudice and bigotry and we are therefore proud that she will be with us on the night.

If you would like to nominate an Upstander against hatred, you can do so here and there are a number of award categories to choose from.