Bias Incident Response Team/Defining Hate Crimes and Bias Incidents

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While valuing freedom of thought and expression, and multiple points of view, we recognize that some members of our campus community are affected by instances of bias and hate and need assistance. The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is a group of faculty and staff who are committed to creating a proactive response for students, faculty and staff to instances of hate and bias in the following ways:

  • Support those who are targeted by hate or bias.
  • Refer them to the resources and services available.
  • Educate the campus community about the impact of hate and bias.
  • Promote initiatives and new ideas that further a welcoming, bias- and hate-free climate at U of L.


Defining Hate Crimes and Bias Incidents

Bias incidents include conduct or behavior (verbal, nonverbal, or written) that is threatening, harassing, intimidating, discriminatory, or hostile and is based on a person’s identity or group affiliation, including (but not limited to) such things as race, age, disability status, gender, gender identity/expression, national origin, sexual orientation, or religion.

A hate crime is generally defined in federal and state statutes as a criminal offense committed against a person or property that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against the victim’s identity or group affiliation.

The University values freedom of thought and expression, respect for multiple points of view, and the civil and open expression of these views. Thus, it is important to note that bias acts or hate crimes do not include speech or behavior that an individual or the institution merely disagrees with or finds offensive.

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