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Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: Community Responders Network counters bias

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 23, 2013 1:08 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Tuesday, May 28:


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During the month of May, six gay men have been the victim of violent hate crimes in New York City, including one who was murdered.  In 2011, the FBI released Hate Crime Statistics finding that for the first time, crimes directed against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation are the second most frequent hate crimes. Those based on race still lead the country. 

Incidents of race crimes still occur within the state of Pennsylvania.  In 2009, two Shenandoah men were convicted on federal civil rights charges for fatally beating Luis Ramirez, a Mexican immigrant.

That’s why the Pennsylvania Community Responders Network was formed. The Pennsylvania Community Responders Network provides leaders and concerned citizens in Pennsylvania’s Capital Region with guidance for dealing with the immediate impact of incidents of intolerance based on age, gender, sexual orientation, race or creed. A Community Responders Network reinforces a strong and peaceful response from a diverse group of community members. The PA Community Responders Network consistently provides support to victims in the event of an incident and ensures that the proper authorities are aware of the details of the crime throughout the healing process.

Tuesday’s Radio Smart Talk features a discussion with members of the Pennsylvania Community Responders Network: Tina Nixon, the Executive Director of the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, Ann Van Dyke, an expert in Pennsylvania hate crime issues and Rabbi Carl Choper, the Executive Director of The Religion and Society Center and President of The Interfaith Alliance of Pennsylvania.  The discussion will explore effective ways of addressing hate crimes and or the prevention of such crimes within the central Pennsylvania region.

To download the Community Responders Network Manual click here.

If you feel you've been a victim of discrimination contact the PA Human Relations Commission.

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Rabbi Carl Choper and Tina Nixon of the Community Responders Network

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-05-28 08:53

    Debra Cornelius, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology at Shippensburg University emailed:

    Good morning. As a sociology professor, I spend considerable teaching time discussing multiculturalism and critical thinking. Your speakers have mentioned that religious beliefs justify discrimination against others. I have found this to be the toughest nut to crack in my classroom -- to respect all religious foundations without validating beliefs that discriminate against others. Even your guests today sounded uncomfortable addressing this directly. How are we ever going to resolve this issue without a frank and open discussion of this issue within the religious communities involved?

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