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Inter-Group Relations (IGR): Community Tensions and Hate Crimes

Promoting Inter-Group Understanding and Addressing Community Tensions and Hate Crimes

The Inter-Group Relations (IGR) division of the Commission on Human Relations reacts to incidents of violence and proactively provides educational workshops to reduce discrimination and hate while promoting inter-group understanding. Chicago, like other large urban cities, experiences conflicts and community tensions that are often fueled by misunderstanding and fear in areas undergoing change based on race, class or culture.  This can include gentrification, immigration, and also the relocation of public housing residents into new communities.  IGR staff members work to identify key stakeholders and leaders in these communities to discuss concerns and develop community-based solutions. This unit is regularly called upon in times of crisis to intercede in communities where violence may have occurred or has the potential for occurring.  Many of these conflicts occur in or around schools, and in communities between residents and neighbors. 

Strategies

Strategies to increase awareness of civil-rights protections, prevent violence against protected classes, and advocate for hate crime victims:

  • Increase channels of communication and number of presentations regarding the civil rights protections offered under Chicago’s Human Rights Ordinance and Fair Housing Ordinance so as to reduce discriminatory actions and to increase the number of complainants served.
  • Prioritize education as a means of preventing violence against members of the protected classes and deliver workshops on hates crimes, diversity, bullying, and conflict management.
  • Convene stakeholders who work on the issue of hate crimes to develop common objectives in addressing hate crimes and further develop the infrastructure upon which hate-crime policy recommendations can be made.

Services

Violence and hate crimes are most often based on race, religious differences, sexual orientation, or gender identity, therefore increased outreach to schools and communities is a priority.

IGR staff members can mediate community tensions and conflict. They can also deliver presentations explaining the protections offered under Chicago’s Human Rights and Fair Housing Ordinances, how to file a complaint of discrimination, and how to call for assistance if someone is a victim of a hate crime. In addition, they can advocate on behalf of victims of hate crimes.

  • Community Mediation: IGR responds to requests from individuals or communities who are involved in a dispute and attempts to reach a resolution.  A staff mediator can facilitate the communication between people in conflict and help each party understand the other person’s point of view and rights.
  • Presentations: Our professional team is ready to provide presentations on
- Bullying
- Disability
- Compliance
- Hate Crimes
- Prejudice Reduction
  • Outreach: IGR will come to your community, school, or place of worship and discuss what your civil rights are under the law and the remedies available if you have experienced discrimination. IGR reaches out to individuals and public and private institutions to promote the Commission's services and provide information on the Chicago Human Rights and Fair Housing Ordinances as well as procedures on how to file discrimination complaints.
  • Assistance for Hate Crime Victims: IGR provides assistance to victims as their cases are litigated through the criminal courts and advocates on their behalf as they search for civil litigation alternatives.

Alerts (Inter-Group Relations (IGR): Community Tensions and Hate Crimes)

Low Alert Apr 26, 2017 Statement on the Issue of Hate Crimes

Most Recent News (Inter-Group Relations (IGR): Community Tensions and Hate Crimes)

Jan 9, 2017 CCHR Calls for Thoughtful Responses to Recent Hate Crime Made Public on Social Media
Nov 24, 2015 Chicago Public Library Partners with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations to Present a Free Film Screening of Documentary, Waking in Oak Creek, as well as a “Human Rights Day” Panel Discussion
Sep 30, 2015 Chicago Public Library Partners with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations to Present a Free Film Screening of Documentary Waking in Oak Creek

Supporting Information

For more information, contact:

Presentations/Outreach

Kelly Saulsberry, Director of Policy and Outreach

312.744.2571

 

Hate Crimes

Norman White, Hate Crimes Specialist

312.744.4874

 

Community Tensions

Northside

Aracelis Castañeda, Human Relations Specialist

312.742.4172

Southside

Jennifer Scott, Human Relations Specialist

312.744.1093

Department Main Office

Commission on Human Relations

  • Phone: 312.744.4111
    Toll Free:
    TTY: 312.744.1088
    Fax: 312.744.1081
  • 740 North Sedgwick Street
    Suite 400
    Chicago, IL 60654   
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