Fighting back against racially-motivated hate crimePublished: January 16, 2017
Community leaders converged on Telford College of Arts and Technology to show a united front in the fight against racially-motivated hate crime.
The ‘Better Than That’ event was organised by TCAT’s enrichment facilitator, Daniel Blasczyk, who said he had been shocked by the rise in high-profile incidents across the town.
One of the attacks involved former TCAT student Bart Milewski, who was stabbed in the neck with a smashed drinks bottle in Donnington ‘because he was speak
ing Polish’ on a night out with friends.
“We have also seen a female racially abused on the bus in Hadley, and the charity Crisis ran a report on the hate crime towards the homeless just before Christmas,” Daniel said.
“I believed it vital that we organised an event to show unity and raise awareness of hate crime, to send a strong message to our students.”
Daniel contacted the Safer Neighbourhoods Team at Wellington police station who provided details of community groups – many of which were represented at the TCAT event.
Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies delivered a speech, and the town’s UKIP MEP Jill Seymour was also in attendance. Award-winning hip hop artist Trademark Blud, from Hadley, delivered a powerful song on hate crime, mid-way through the event.
Daniel said: “The hip hop scene in Telford is gaining momentum and we have extremely talented performers such as Trademark. The students were excited to see him perform live.
“This is just the start. We hope to work with Trademark again in the future. My long term goal is to get the whole Telford hip hop scene together to collaborate on a song raising awareness of hate crime.”
As part of the event, certificates were al
so presented to ‘community champions’ who were helping to make Telford & Wrekin a healthier and happier place.
They included Ian Preece of Great Dawley Parish Council, TCAT Student Union president Aaron Davis, and Parkash Dhami, who has received an MBE in recognition of his community cohesion work.
Daniel said: “It was important to show out students that charity work and community cohesion is appreciated.
“Aaron sets a great example to fellow students, while Ian Preece has achieved amazing things such as attempting the channel swim.
He has dedicated his life to the community, running Club 2000 and coaching Telford Juniors football team.
“And it is quite astonishing that Parkash has managed to raise in excess of £300,000 for renovation and building works for the Gurdwara. His thoroughly deserved MBE is an example to the students that a lifetime of supporting the community is not only appreciated here in Telford, but also by the country.”
The Government’s Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles MP, sent his congratulations to Daniel and the TCAT team for organising the event.