Archives for hate crimes

Change Agents 9/1/22: Hate Crimes & Training Police

Producer/Host: Steve Wessler

Change Agents: Conversations with Advocates and Social Justice Advocate on WERU FM

This month:
My two guests advocate for reducing hate crimes and for training police on how to respond to hate crimes. Nadia Aziz is the:
Senior Program Director for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, in Washington DC. Dawn Collins became a human right advocate at after her son was murdered on the campus of the University of Maryland. The assailant was white and a white supremacist. 2nd Lieutenant was Black. Dawn and Nadia work to reduce hate crimes and to provide police with information and understanding of the impact of hate crimes. We discuss these issues.

1. Can we reduce the amount of hate crimes in the USA?
2. Why do hate crimes impact victims and families?
3. What works to reduce hate crimes?

Guests:
Nadia Aziz is the Senior Program Director for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, in Washington DC.
Dawn Collins became a human right advocate at after her son was murdered on the campus of the University of Maryland. The assailant was white and a white supremacist. 2nd Lieutenant Lt. Richard W. Collins III, 23 was Black.

About the host:
Steve Wessler will soon will be starting his 28th year of working on human right issues. He founded the Civil Rights Unit in the Maine Attorney’s Office in 1992 and led the Unit for 7 years. In 1999 he left the formal practice of law and founded the Center for the Prevention of Hate. The Center worked in Maine and across the USA. He and his colleagues worked to reduce bias and harassment in schools, in communities, in health care organization through workshops and conflict resolution. The Center closed in 2011 and Steve began a consulting on human rights issues. For the next 5 years much of his work was in Europe, developing and implementing training curricular for police, working in communities to reduce the risk of hate crimes, conflict resolution between police and youth. He has worked in over 20 countries. In late 2016 he began to work more in Maine, with a focus on reducing anti-immigrant bias. He continues to work in schools to reduce bias and harassment. Wessler teaches courses on human rights issues at the College of the Atlantic, the University of Maine at Augusta and at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in northern Virginia.