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PHONE: (313) 593-5518
DATE: Oct. 31, 2005

"Dealing with Hate" program at UM-Dearborn will help local elected officials respond to hate crimes in their communities

DEARBORN---In response to recent local incidents of racial discrimination and harassment, the Institute for Local Government at the University of Michigan-Dearborn will offer a one-day seminar for local elected officials to help them deal with emerging racial and cultural conflicts in their communities.

The program will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, at UM-Dearborn's Fairlane Center, 19000 Hubbard Drive in Dearborn.

"The antidote to hate is dialog and a commitment to building stronger communities," according to Shirley Bryant, recently retired executive director of community relations at Birmingham Public Schools, who will lead the seminar. "Racially and culturally motivated hate crimes reflect the deep fears and conflicts that concern us all. Local officials are the community architects who can create ways to help people work together to meet these challenges."

Designed for school board members and city and village council members, the seminar will present specific and practical ideas and strategies to help elected leaders challenge hate crimes through policies and strategies that build stronger and more diverse communities. Participants should leave with many ideas and an action plan outlining ways they can address these difficult issues in their own communities.

The fee for the program will be $200 for the first elected official from any municipality or government unit, with the second person admitted free. "We're encouraging people to come together in teams," according to Edward Bagale, vice chancellor for government relations at UM-Dearborn.

UM-Dearborn's Institute for Local Government was launched in 2003 to offer a variety of programs to help develop stronger civic leadership in the region. "As the problems local governments are asked to solve become more complex, those serving as elected officials need background and continuing education delivered in a non-partisan and timely manner," Bagale said. "The university is uniquely suited to perform this task.

For registration or more information, contact the Institute for Local Government at (313) 593-5435 or instititute.for.local.government@umd.umich.edu.

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