Hamilton set to address rise in hate crimes with new campaign


Published May 10, 2023 at 2:25 pm

Hamilton has witnessed a sharp rise in hate crimes and discrimination specifically targeting minority communities, and it plans to launch a campaign to help address the issue.

In 2022 alone, Hamilton police received reports of 174 hate incidents, a 61 per cent increase since 2021.

Recently, the City of Hamilton introduced ‘Hamilton for All,’ a communityfunded and run campaign spearheaded by multiple organizations that aims to address growing concerns around discrimination and exclusion faced by marginalized groups in the community.

Their report also sheds light on the unfortunate reality in Hamilton that six out of 10 immigrants and racialized minorities, and a staggering eight out of 10 Indigenous peoples, have personally experienced discrimination.

Photo Credit: Hamilton for All Report

These incidents predominantly occurred when applying for jobs, within workplace settings, while utilizing public areas like sidewalks and parks, and even during commutes on public transit.

Back in 2017, the campaign used bus shelter advertisements and other displays to raise awareness about the challenges that newcomers, immigrants and refugees face.

However, this time, organizers wanted to start at the grassroots level. Now, the objective is to ‘build capacity’ in the community by providing easily accessible and engaging resources for individuals to take action against targeted discrimination.

“Nationally, we want to be able to direct people to these places, but also to engage in conversation and to create awareness through assigning ambassadors in these marginalized communities,” said Sarah Wayland, who leads the Hamilton for All project, while addressing the Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities on Tuesday (May 9).

The campaign also plans to organize several workshops and events in the city to sound the alarm about the issue.

The Advisory Committee voted to receive the presentation and the program is set to launch on June 27.

“A campaign like this, though it may not solve all the problems, we know that we will bring people together to have conversations and to increase more feelings of inclusion,” Wayland added.

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