This week, Cumberland Lodge brought together a delegation of frontline practitioners, educationalists, charity leaders, academics, students, advocacy groups and grant-makers to explore new ways of combating prejudice-motivated hate crime.
Our autumn conference, 'A Generation without Hate', took place over two days from Thursday 2 November to Friday 3 November, and was attended by about 60 participants.
It took a cross-sector and multi-agency approach to examining the evidence base for preventative and early intervention programmes in educational settings, and looking at what works in combating prejudice and why it works.
It also explored some of the challenges involved in scaling up successful hate crime interventions and making them sustainable.
The conference opened with an address from Lord Bourne, Minister for Faith (and Wales) at the Department for Communities and Local Government, on 'Action Against Hate: The Role of Education in Government Strategy' and delegates had the chance to put their own questions to him.
Other guest speakers included:
- Professor Domonic Abrams (Professor Social Psychology and Director of the Centre for the Study of Group Processes at the University of Kent)
- Claire Birkenshaw (Consultant at TransUmbrella, recognised by the Times Edcuation Supplement in November 2016 as the first known head teacher in the UK to transition whilst in post)
- Dr Mark Chater (Director of the Cuham St Gabriel's Trust, the charitable trust that supports educational work in support of religious education)
- Sylvia Lancaster OBE (CEO and Founder of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, which was established in memory of her daughter Sophie who lost her life as the victim of a hate crime)
- Robert Posner (CEO of The Anne Frank Trust UK, which is highlighted in the Government's Hate Crime Action Plan for its work in tackling prejudice in schools)
- Rose Simkins (CEO of Stop Hate UK, the national, Leeds-based charity that tackles hate crime and discrimination)
- Baljit Ubhey (Director of Prosecution Policy and Inclusion at the Crown Prosecution Service).
Focus of discussions
Delegates were encouraged to spend time working together in small working groups to tackle key issues, some of which were chaired by our Cumberland Lodge PhD Scholars. Participants also took part in larger group feedback sessions.
The conference sessions explored topics such as:
- What works in reducing prejudice, what makes things worse and what don't we know - drawing on academic research into the causes and motivations of prejudice and discrimination
- Assessing educational methodologies and interventions - their comparative efficacy and operational challenges involved in their delivery
- Cross-sector perspectives on education, prejudice and the wider social context - focusing on preventing prejudice amongst school children
- Learning from our school-age conference participants about their experiences of prejudice, their views on what causes young people to develop prejudiced attitudes, and what they have seen in their schools that works in tackling prejudice and discrimination
- How to make interventions effective and where best to allocate resources within the education sector
- How to scale up best practice interventions and make them sustainable.
The event was held under the Chatham House Rule, to encourage free and open debate, It was part of our Freedom series of interdisciplinary conferences, seminars, study retreats and public events for 2017-18.
We will shortly be publishing a conference summary report with a series of recommendations for stakeholders in the educational sector, on our Read, Watch, Listen webpages.
We will also be hosting a follow-up seminar to take the key learning points and recommendations from this conference directly to policymakers and parliamentarians in central London in 2018. Look out for more details on our What's On pages.