The latest in a series of community responses to the horrific attack on the Kurdish teenager earlier this month, CVA hosted #We Stand Together, where the community showed its solidarity and commitment to showing that Croydon is a borough where refugee and asylum seekers are welcome.
The community event which brought agencies and groups from private, statutory, and voluntary sector together aimed to start a dialogue that would tackle hate crime and build further efforts to support of asylum seekers and refugees. The event was introduced by Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice, and heard powerful contributions from the local community including Rebaz Mohammad on behalf of the local Kurdish community. Speakers also included:
- Council Leader Tony Newman
- MPS Borough Commander Jeff Boothe
- Steve Reed MP for Croydon North
- Leader of Croydon Conservative Party, Councillor Tim Pollard
- Ibrahim Dogus founder of the Centre for Kurdish Progress
- MP for Croydon Central Gavin Barwell, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime
- Bishop of Croydon Jonathan Clark
- Sophie Linden (representing the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan).
CVA’s Enterprise Manager, Bhupendra Solanki who closed the meeting felt it had been a powerful display of unity and determination to tackle hate crime.
“We and the Council organised this meeting in response to the many sentiments of sadness, distress and fear expressed by member organisations and users of our services since the brutal and senseless attack on the young man. He came to the UK alone, like many asylum seekers, seeking our safety and protection. We as a community need to learn lessons from this incident and look to how this can never happen again on our doorstep”.
A key part of the CVA’s response to the evening will be to facilitate a community voice to address issues raised and identifying resources to create further opportunities for refugee communities in areas such as business development.