Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City to Host “Community Conversation, The Rising Rate of Hate Crimes in the U.S. and Utah”

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City and The Salt Lake City Public Library, in partnership with the United Jewish Federation of Utah and their Community Partners Against Hate, today announced the second event in the Community Conversation Series: “The Rising Rate of Hate Crimes in the U.S. and Utah.” The webinar will be live-streamed over Zoom (link) on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. It will also be live-streamed on  

The panelists are leaders in national organizations that report and analyze hate crimes and inequity, and advocate for policy and practice to prevent them. They will address critical questions about the growing epidemic of hate crimes and hate incidents. 

Panelists include Lecia Brooks, Chief of Staff for the Southern Poverty Law Center; Brenda Victoria Castillo, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition; and Eric Ward, Executive Director of the Western States Center, an organization dedicated to inclusive democracy and ensuring people can live free from fear.

Alejandro Beutel, with the Center for Global Policy and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, will moderate the program.  

Salt Lake City Mayor, Erin Mendenhall, will introduce the program by sharing what steps Salt Lake City is taking to ensure that hate crimes have no place in our community.

“We’re in a time when most Americans feel a deep division in our country, and they’ve witnessed hate and vitriol occurring between segments of the population. Utah and Salt Lake City are not immune to this,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “A panel like this Community Conversation around hate crimes is a vital component to the work we need to do to shine a light on racism and inequity, and work to fix our broken systems.”

Jay Jacobson, United Jewish Federation of Utah board member, said, “Like the COVID-19 pandemic, the epidemic of hate crimes disproportionately targets minorities, but has received less attention.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported over 7,000 hate crimes in the United States in 2018, a 16-year high. There were 36 crimes reported in Utah—about the same as the state of Georgia, which has 3 times as many residents.    

This timely panel discussion will discuss what constitutes a hate crime and how hate crimes are changing in different communities. Jacobson added, “The Jewish Federation and our partners are committed to an ongoing dialogue to educate our community about the devastating and disruptive impact of hate speech and hate crimes. We plan to present additional programs as soon as January, focused on response and prevention to help our community ensure that this is no place for hate.”

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