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Community members stand behind the FBI's hate crime awareness campaign

Special Agent in Charge of the Portland Field Office Kieran Ramsey spoke to Ashland City Council about the initiative.

Posted: Aug 25, 2021 4:01 PM
Updated: Aug 25, 2021 6:31 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- The FBI begins its hate crime awareness campaign for Oregon on September 1.

Special Agent in Charge of the Portland Field Office Kieran Ramsey spoke to Ashland City Council about the initiative.

Ashland City Councilor, Gina DuQuenne is active with social justice groups throughout the Rogue Valley and told Newswatch 12 during the meeting with SAC Ramsey that she made her own suggestions to get other community members behind the campaign.

DuQuenne suggested the FBI reach out to Jefferson Public Radio about the campaign because of its broad audience. She also hoped the hate crime awareness campaign would reach Southern Oregon University in Ashland.

DuQuenne told Newswatch 12 she is now on the SOU president's search committee. She said it is time that hate crimes in Southern Oregon get addressed so that they will no longer happen.

"One of my questions when we get to that interview process is, 'how will you handle these situations? How are you going to use these as a teachable moment, and step out and bring it to the forefront?' We do not tolerate and accept this behavior."

She is one of many people in the Rogue Valley who have taken a stance on social justice issues in southern Oregon and has stood behind the Southern Oregon Coalition for Racial Equity as they have pushed more people to report hate incidents.

In March of this year, SO Equity launched it's bias reporting system.

This launch followed the murder of 19-year-old Aidan Ellison whose killing has still yet to be deemed a hate crime.

Newswatch 12 went out into the community to hear from locals about their take on the FBI stepping in to support reporting hate crimes both saying they fully support the effort.

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