Civil Rights dept. hosts forum on reporting hate crimes and bias incidents

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights will host a virtual public forum at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 26, to examine hate crimes and bias incidents in Michigan and learn how they are tracked and reported. Participants will discuss current data on hate crimes and bias incidents, barriers to reporting a hate crime, how hate and bias data is collected, and alternatives to traditional reporting.

“This forum comes at a time when Michigan and the nation are experiencing an alarming uptick in hate crimes and bias incidents,” said John E. Johnson Jr., executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. “We must come together and find ways to combat this trend, but first we have to understand it. The speakers who will join us on Thursday will guide us in examining the ways hate and bias are reported, what barriers to reporting exist, and what the civil rights community can do to respond forcefully and effectively when it happens.”

Featured speakers include:

• Patrick M. Geahan, supervisory special agent and supervisor of the FBI office in Ann Arbor, Michigan

• Anne Mahar, department analyst in the Michigan Incident Crime Reporting Unit and Criminal Justice Information Center at the Michigan State Police

• Becky L. Monroe, deputy director of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs at the California Civil Rights Department

• Alexandra Wyatt, victim advocate in the Hate Crimes and Domestic Terrorism Unit at the Michigan Department of Attorney General

To register to attend the forum, go to https://bit.ly/3Xyy2gr or visit the MDCR website at Michigan.gov/MDCR for more information.

Thursday’s forum is a presentation of the MI Response to Hate campaign – an initiative of MDCR’s Community Engagement and Education Division in their ongoing efforts to prevent discrimination, hate and bias in the state of Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is charged with investigating and resolving discrimination complaints and works to prevent discrimination through educational programs that promote voluntary compliance with civil rights laws. The Department also provides information and services to businesses on diversity initiatives and equal employment law. For additional information on the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, go to www.michigan.gov/mdcr.

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