Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08



Experts, activists discuss hate-crimes laws, prevention
by Matt Simonette

This article shared 4 times since Thu Oct 23, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

      More Photos

Law enforcement officials and community advocates were among those who gathered Oct. 20 at UIC Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted St., for a hate-crime summit held in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Matthew Shephard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

While there has not been a significant increase in the number of reported hate crimes in Chicago, the community has to be vigilant about them, said Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, who added, "You can never perceive any individual hate crime as a crime against any one community or victim. … These fears and feelings of intimidation may prevent [other] members of a particular community from enjoying the rights that are promised to you all."

"These are the people we serve and close-up touch," said Mona Noriega, chair of the Chicago Commision on Human Relations, who hosted the event along with Tyrone Forman, UIC Vice Provost for Diversity. "We witness the blood that pours from their wounds. Walk with them, trembling when they enter into a court of law to hold their abusers accountable. We experience the tears that family and community cry. We realize the multiple ways that hate crimes destroy lives, kill real people, and create fear among strangers. We have no choice."

Across the city the LGBT and Jewish communities face the largest number of direct threats, according to Michael Masters, executive director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for Cook County. He told the audience that better education about hate crimes, both for law enforcement and members of the community was needed.

"The reality is that, if people are feeling targeted because of who they are, we cannot take a moment of rest," said Masters. "Through strong training and good partnerships we can increase the chances that individuals feel comfortable reporting incidents, and, critically, that law enforcement both has empathy when issues of concern arise in particular communities, and undertakes appropriate followup when issues are reported."

Getting victims to report the crimes committed against them remains a challenge. "If we wait to make sure that there's a problem before we address it, its too late," said Vick Lombardo of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "The more we educate in advance, the better off we're going to be."

Jasjit Singh, executive director of the Sikh Legal Defense and Education Fund, spoke about the myriad challenges Sikh Americans have faced in the wake of 9/11, and noted that they have been disproportionately affected by hate crimes, racial profiling, bullying, discrimination and failures to make public accommodations.

"Many members of our community who do wear their articles of faith are walking around with a target on their back," he said. "… It's not an issue of misconception. It's an issue of 'no conception.' One in five individuals felt apprehension or anger when they saw a picture of a Sihk American male."

Sherialyn K. Birdsong, whose husband, insurance executive and Northwestern University basketball coach Ricky Birdsong, was slain in an anti-African American hate crime in Skokie in 1999, spoke of how much her late husband meant to her family.

"He was a great friend. My best friend. A wonderful husband [and] he was an exceptional father. When he came home the kids acted like I didn't exist. We were living the American dream in Skokie," she said.

Birdsong now works as a teacher in Georgia, and said that she tries to instill in her students values that promote tolerance for others.

"Everyone who commits a hate crime was once a student," Birdsong said. "We have common core standards, but …How do we do a better job teaching the kid, 'stop bullying this person, stop saying bad things about them because they are different?'"

Messages about tolerance and acceptance, she added, "need to come in powerful waves."

A number of breakout sessions were also held at the summit; topics included models of affirmative community based responses, resources for hate-crime survivors, hate crimes against religious institutions and law enforcement responses to hate crimes.

The video playlist below contains multiple videos. Choose Playlist in the top left hand corner to watch videos out of order, if preferred.

This article shared 4 times since Thu Oct 23, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Young LGBQ adults experience more psychological distress than older LGBQ people
-- From a Williams Institute press release - A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds younger LGBQ adults are physically healthier but have worse psychological distress than older LGBQ people. Researchers examined a representative sample of LGBQ people ...

Gay News

Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom names first queer woman to state supreme court
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his intention to appoint Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kelli Evans to serve as an associate justice of the California Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Justice Guerrero's elevation ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Okla. schools, Tenn. lawsuit, political items, Mich. library
Video below - Oklahoma public schools have started requiring students from kindergarten to college to complete "biological sex affidavits" if they want to compete in school sports, in accordance with a state law that took effect earlier this year, ...

Gay News

WORLD Zelensky, French position, UK drag-queen shows, triathlons
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed he will ask Ukraine's government to look into legalizing same-sex marriage after the war with Russia ends, PinkNews reported. Ukraine's constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Last ...

Gay News

Uganda government forces LGBTQ+ group to shut down
An LGBTQI+-rights group in Uganda said the country's government forced it to shut down, according to The Washington Blade. Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), in a press release, said Uganda's National ...

Gay News

Indiana Gov. Holcomb signs bill banning most abortions
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed a bill that would ban most abortions—making it the first state to pass a restrictive law against the procedure since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this ...

Gay News

Judge: Kevin Spacey owes almost $31 million
On Aug. 4, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mel Red Recana confirmed that embattled actor Kevin Spacey must pay House of Cards producer MRC nearly $31 million for alleged sexual misconduct behind the scenes of the ...

Gay News

Brittney Griner found guilty, sentenced to nine years
On Aug. 4, a Russian court found out WNBA star Brittney Griner guilty of drug smuggling and possession charges—and sentenced her to nine years in prison. The widely expected verdict came after a monthlong trial ...

Gay News

Sexual-misconduct report findings force Chicago charter-school leader to leave
A Chicago Public Schools inspector general's report substantiating allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with a student forced Tim King, the head of a prominent charter school network, to resign recently, WBEZ reported. King, who founded Urban ...

Gay News

Judge: W. Va.'s Medicaid program must cover transgender care
In West Virginia, U.S. District Judge Chuck Chambers ruled that the state's Medicaid program must provide coverage for gender-confirming care for transgender residents, ABC News reported. Chambers made the ruling on Aug. 2 in a lawsuit ...

Gay News

Attorneys general file brief in Indiana trans case
A coalition of 22 attorneys general, including Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and New York counterpart Letitia James, filed an amicus brief in the case of A.C. v. Metropolitan School District of Martinsville opposing the school ...

Gay News

NU sued by student on school's Qatar campus
On July 28, Northwestern University was slapped with a civil-rights lawsuit in Illinois Northern District Court, according to The lawsuit was brought by Disparti Law Group on behalf of a student of the university's Qatar ...

Gay News

Voters preserve abortion rights in red state Kansas
In the first abortion-related election since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Kansas voters have rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have specified that the right to terminate a pregnancy is not protected, ...

Gay News

Showrunners send abortion-protection letters to Hollywood execs
Recently, more than 400 TV creators and showrunners—all of them women (including Shonda Rhimes, Issa Rae, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Natasha Lyonne and Ava DuVernay)—sent letters to top executives at Hollywood studios ...

Gay News

Senate vote on marriage bill pushed back to September
Hope for a quick vote on the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. Senate this week has faded, but U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin said over the weekend that she has 10 Republican senators willing to ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.