(Left – Right) Gateway Housing Association No Place for Hate Champions, Sue-Jane O’Keefe, Shahanara Akhtar, Benedicta Dikeocha, Tower Hamlets Hate Crime Projects Officer and Minara Uddin and Fatmata Wurie Bah)
Tower Hamlets is the most diverse Borough in London, and it’s also the Borough with the second highest recorded hate crime figures. In order to tackle this it’s vital that organisations strive to break down barriers, bring different community groups together and foster cultural understanding.
That’s why Gateway has pledged to support the Tower Hamlets, award winning, No Place for Hate (NP4HC) campaign in 2019.
Sue-Jane O’Keefe, our Community Partnerships Co-ordinator was inspired to become a No Place for Hate Champion by her own experience of prejudice, she said
"My family is Irish, growing up, especially following the IRA bombings in England, I experienced a lot of unpleasant comments, hatred and mistrust towards Irish immigrants. Discrimination and hatred can be aimed at anyone from a different background. So my desire to become a “No Place for Hate” champion was about wanting to prevent others feeling the way I was made to feel."
Shahanara Akhtar, our Employment and Training Coordinator, recently became our second No Place for Hate Champion and together with Sue-Jane they’ve been inviting residents to pledge their support at our Residents’ Fairs, and events to celebrate Black History and Pride Months.
We’ve also worked to bring different community groups together, through our project called Community Roots. Together we planted a peace tree to remember those injured or lost in the Christchurch Mosque shootings. A real reminder that hate knows no boundaries. So whilst hate builds walls, Gateway builds community spaces and invites all our communities to come together and make Tower Hamlets No Place for Hate.
Shahanara said "We must be the voice for others who can’t speak up. Encourage people to embrace the differences, teach and educate other and spread peace, love and joy"
Photos Below: First two pictures Peace Tree planting at John Tucker House. Second two pictures from Hear Awards and LGBTQ Pride flag raising at Tower Hamlets Town Hall. Final two photos show Shahanara Akhtar at the No Place for Hate Champions ceremony.