What we did at MEND in 2017
Categories: Latest News
Tuesday January 16 2018
2017 has been an extremely busy year at MEND for our staff and our hundreds of volunteers across the country.
Our team has increased this year and three new full time roles have been created, including our Islamophobia Response Unit Caseworker and Media and Parliamentary officer.
Below you can read about some of MEND’s achievements and activities from 2017 both nationally and regionally.
In 2017, MEND held two conferences with international speakers with over 6,000 attendees.
We launched the Islamophobia Response Unit which offers support for hate crime victims and free legal advice for victims of discrimination which has helped hundreds of people.
We created election manifestos, held hustings around the country and received pledges from the main political parties in order to help and encourage Muslims to vote in the General Election.
We organised fringe events at both the Labour (Labour and Muslim women) and Conservative (Conservative party and British Muslims) party conferences.
We’ve created fact sheets with important information and latest statistics concerning Muslims in Britain.
We sent submissions to select committee inquiries.
We issued action alerts regarding Ofsted’s announcement it would question schoolgirls wearing hijab, MP Bob Blackman hosting an anti-Muslim nationalist in parliament, The Times’ Islamophobic foster care story and Melanie Phillips’ Islamophobic comments on Sky News.
We held our biggest Islamophobia Awareness Month to date, supported by politicians from all main political parties. The National Union of Students also supported IAM2017 and set many of their own initiatives and events.
IAM2017 was launched in parliament with the support of Jeremy Corbyn. And our IAM2017 campaign video was featured on ITV News.
— MEND Community (@mendcommunity) November 30, 2017
Our Islamophobia exhibition was set up in cities around the country, educating thousands of people on Muslim history and contribution to the UK and, of course, Islamophobia.
Our Facebook videos alone were viewed more than 5 million times and we developed a new interactive website to make it easier to keep up with topical stories, find events near you and get involved!
We organised the Trojan Horse Conference, bringing together academics, teachers, politicians and media personalities which was attended by 300 people.
Our action alerts and petition regarding the Islamophobic tweets of councillors in Solihull, contributed towards the hundreds of complaints received by the council.
We issued a press release and organised community events to encourage reporting on the Leicester hate crime, including police liaison work, after a man hit a Muslim woman with his car as she was walking her children to school. The same man then attempted to hit a 12-year-old girl in a separate incident.
The Independent covered our Leeds team’s visit to their local Synagogue in solidarity after it was vandalised with anti-Semitic graffiti.
Our Holocaust Memorial Day event in Leeds included representatives from the Rohingya Community, the Remembering Srebrenica Campaign and a workshop on the 10 Steps to Genocide produced by HMD group.
We held an event an interfaith event at the historic Leeds Minster with Richard Burgon MP.
We hosted an Islamophobia conference at Bradford University with West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson and poet, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan.
We raised awareness of Islamophobia with Show Racism the Red Card at Durham Miners Gala. Jeremy Corbyn was a keynote speaker and over 100,000 people were in attendance.
We trained ‘Touchstone’ staff on Islamophobia and mental health throughout the year.
We were a key partner in the Leeds Inequalities Network ‘Socially Inclusive Cities’ Programme with partners from across the globe.
We organised vigils in Leeds and Bradford after attacks in Manchester and London by bringing communities together in solidarity.
Our inaugural ‘Muslims of Leeds’ event celebrated Muslim contribution to Yorkshire.
We took part in Leeds City Council’s National Hate Crime Week Event at the Civic Hall.
We held an inspirational event featuring serial-entrepreneur and TV personality, James Caan, hosted by our CEO.
We presented a speech on Islamophobia at a workplace discrimination event that took place in KPMG, a world leading professional services firm.
— Ahmad Yamak (@ahmadyamak) November 21, 2017
We increased the number of working groups from 5 to 8. In 2016 we only had working groups in East and Central London. 2017 saw new groups form in West and South. So, please do get involved!
We hosted a Big Iftar with the community in Waltham Forest organised by the Waltham Forest working group.
Wales and West
MEND was relaunched in Swansea in collaboration with Swansea Mosque & Islamic Community Centre.
A new working group was founded in Newport and we held our first presentation on the causes and cures of Islamophobia.
IAM2017 was launched in Bristol with the support of the University of West England and University of Bristol.
The IAM Bristol billboard was put up at the most prominent roundabout in Bristol city centre, though it was later vandalised – reminding us just how important an initiative Islamophobia Awareness Month is.
IAM Bristol organised a conference on Islamophobia, speakers included Rizwan Ahmed, Hareem Ghani, Alex Nunns and more.
In Cardiff we initiated our “Ask a Muslim” events which were attended by many curious people of different faiths and none.
We delivered several Islamophobia training sessions to the British Transport Police in Cardiff and we participated in the Human Library Project.
— MaƦiyah (@mariyahzaman) October 20, 2017
We raised money for victims of Manchester bombing which was contributed to by Russell Brand.
In the North West we held Greater Manchester Metro Mayoral Hustings and Gorton General Election Hustings.
Young hate crime ambassadors were trained in Bolton.
We organised an Islamophobia Awareness Month Curry Night at Zion Arts Centre.