There are three weeks left to nominate people and individuals who have stood up to hate crime in the past 12 months for the third annual No2H8 Awards, which is being jointly organised by a Jewish-Muslim team.
Anyone can nominate those they feel have tackled hate, intolerance and bigotry, whether that be directed at faith or race groups, the LGBT community or those with disabilities.
Nominations for the 12 awards, now in its third year, must be received before the closing date of 17 August, at which point the names put forward will go through two judging panels before winners are chosen.
This year’s theme is ‘upstanding’ and categories include those working in law enforcement, parliament, media and local authorities, alongside anyone making a positive impact in their community to stand up to prejudice.
Standing up against hate is a “distinctive characteristic of our country,” says awards chair Richard Benson, a former chief executive of the Community Security Trust (CST) and current president of Tell MAMA, which measures anti-Muslim attacks.
Previous winners of the awards – which Jewish News proudly sponsors alongside national titles including The Mirror – include medic Dr Nasser Kurdy, who was stabbed in the neck outside an Altrincham mosque in September 2017 not long after working through the night to treat those injured in the Manchester Arena bomb.
Other winners include 13-year old Jack Stanley, who got the Young Upstander Award. He was featured on TV documentary ‘Educating Manchester’ where he comforted – and made friends with – Syrian refugee Rani Assad who was bullied at school. His actions led to the hashtag #BeMoreLikeJack trending on Twitter.
At the awards ceremony last year, guests were moved by the sight of Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg and Dr Imam Mamadou Bocoum walking hand-in-hand to collect the award for intercultural dialogue.
Narrowly pipping Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) campaigner Edie Friedman to last year’s lifetime achievement award was photographer David Hoffman, who has spent 30 years capturing images of hate crime.
“This particular award means a lot to us because there are so many people who have done such amazing work,” said Benson, who is working alongside Tell MAMA and Faith Matters founder Fiyaz Mughal.
“We’re already getting a wonderful mix of nominations from all over the country, places like Kirklees, Luton, West Midlands, not just London, because the wider media is playing a significant role,” said Mughal.
Benson said that the interest from magazines, radio stations and national titles have catapulted the awards into a different league. “We have complete national coverage now, with an amazing diverse group of 11 media partners,” he said, with increased exposure leading to an increased number of nominations.
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