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Marking National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2018

On Sunday 14 October, National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2018 was marked at St Paul’s with An Act of Hope and Remembrance to remember those whose lives have been taken away or abused by hate crimes and to renew their commitment to be vigilant and strong in defending the dignity of all human beings. 

This short act of remembrance and renewal launched the beginning of National Hate Crime Awareness Week. The National Candle of Hope and Remembrance for those affected by hate crime was lit by Rajonuddin Jalal from the Altab Ali Foundation and Rose Simkin from Stop Hate UK in memory of Altab Ali and Stephen Lawrence and other victims of hate crimes.

The Diversity Choir sang at the event, where prayers were offered by Bishop Sarah Mullally, and Trudy Howson, National LGBT Poet Laureate, read a poem she had written for this year’s National Hate Crime Awareness Week. 

A number of short addresses were given, including by Hardyal Dhindsa, Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, who said: “Many challenges lie ahead, but what we must not forget is that hate stems from a lack of understanding and a fear of difference: we all must strive to ensure that across our communities, difference is celebrated, not feared. I strongly believe that our differences make us stronger and it is our differences that make life interesting. That is why we must stand together to say no to hate.”