SPRINGFIELD — The Western New England School of Law will host a community forum on “Hate Crimes, Extremist Activities, and Bias Incidents” on Friday, March 31, from noon to 3:30 p.m. in the School of Law. This event is open to the public, and local residents, advocates, and all affected constituencies are encouraged to attend. A light, complimentary lunch will be served.
The recent presidential election and subsequent executive appointments have created a high level of uncertainty for politically marginalized groups. Both the news media and nonprofit organizations that monitor hate and bigotry are reporting an increase in these incidents. While such crimes are often discussed at the national level, it is important that communities be alert to local activities that directly affect the lives of their neighbors, families, and friends.
The legal forum will feature representatives from local law enforcement, government agencies, educational providers, community organizations, and faith-based groups that are involved in these issues on a daily basis. The panelists will discuss their perspectives on current events, and will also explain how interested students and community members can become involved in reducing these incidents. This gathering is intended to provide accurate and current information, reduce misinformation in the community, and improve collaboration.