Why All the Hate, Orange County? Conference Hopes to Answer That

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Made in OC. Why?
You can't pick up a virtual copy of OC Weekly these days without . . . tripping . . . over . . . yet . . . another . . . instance . . . of hate.

Guess it's on our genes.

So, what's up with that? How did we get here? This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife! Well, rather than letting the days go by, Orange County's second annual "Conference on Hate Crime" hopes to get to the bottom of our nagging little problem. "Hate Crime: A Community Response" is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at Coastline Community College, 12901 Euclid St., Garden Grove.

Erwin Chemerinksy, dean of UC Irvine's School of Law, will address an audience of law enforcement, educators and community organizers about the importance of hate crime legislation and the tensions between hate-related activities, speech and first amendment rights. The conference will focus on the issue of underreporting and the need to create a community where residents are aware and comfortable in reporting hate related activities.

This is being put on by the Orange County Human Relations Commission, which has found that although reported hate crimes in Orange County have remained relatively stable for the past few years, a 2005 U.S. Bureau of Justice study found that hate crimes were substantially under-reported nationwide. 

"We organized this conference out of desire to educate more people about this critical issue and to encourage interested parties to work more closely together to solve the root cause of this societal issue," says Rusty Kennedy, the commission's longtime executive director.

Co-presented by the Orange County Hate Crime Victim Assistance Partnership and endorsed by the Orange County Chiefs' and Sheriff's Association, the conference also features as speakers Fountain Valley police chief Paul Sorrell, who is president of the Orange County Chiefs' and Sheriff's Association, and David Bishop, director of the University of California, GLBT Resource Center. 

Attendees will have the option of choosing from five workshops, most of which have special interest for educators and law enforcement. The registration fee is $35 and space is limited.  For more information or to register go here or contact Dave Southern at (714) 567-7543. You can also email him here.
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