Mayor Bill de Blasio and Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC) Executive Director Deborah Lauter today announced the launch of the Partners Against the Hate (P.A.T.H.) FORWARD initiative to help combat bias-motivated incidents and hate crimes in New York City.
P.A.T.H. FORWARD will provide funding and programmatic support to six anchor organizations selected by the City to promote community-based approaches to reduce hate crimes and to expand hate crime reporting and services for victims.
“In New York City, we do not tolerate hate, violence, or bigotry in any form,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As we drive recovery for all of us, we must lift up the community leaders standing up against America’s hate epidemic. We are taking action to make sure the hate in our beloved city is eliminated—once and for all.”
“There is not one way to stop hate: it takes a multi-pronged approach that includes strong laws and their enforcement, education to stop biases that fuel hate violence, and healthy community relations,” said Deborah Lauter, Executive Director of the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes. “Through the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes’s P.A.T.H FORWARD initiative, New York City is committing significant resources to support the diverse communities that are the most vulnerable to acts of hate. We are optimistic that this initiative will have a significant, long-term impact that ensures all New Yorkers feel respected and safe.”
The P.A.T.H. FORWARD program includes $3 million in funding for distribution among the six anchor organizations the city has selected as partners in this initiative: the Anti-Violence Project, the Arab American Association of New York, the Asian American Federation, the Hispanic Federation, the Jewish Community Relations Council, and the 67th Precinct Clergy Council.
The anchor organizations will work closely with OPHC and other city agencies to ensure a comprehensive, community-based approach to preventing hate crime.
P.A.T.H. FORWARD anchors will also serve as judges in the awarding of OPHC Hate Crime Prevention Innovation Grants.
These grants, which range from $5,000 to $20,000 to be distributed on a revolving basis throughout the year, will encourage individuals, organizations, and academic institutions to use their entrepreneurial skills to develop projects aimed at reducing hate violence and promoting community respect.
Embedded in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) and the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (CAU), OPHC launched in September 2019 following its creation by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council.
The office takes a holistic approach to prevent and respond to hate crimes, develops and coordinates community-driven prevention strategies to address biases fueling such crimes, and fosters healing for victims and their communities.
“Between March 2020 and March 2021, there were almost 1,500 bias incidents on Asian New Yorkers,” said Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation. “Sadly, our city has the highest number of reported anti-Asian bias incidents of any city in the entire nation. As the bias attacks continue, the Asian New Yorkers are anxious and afraid. We recognize that the solution to getting out of this situation crisis is to partner with other marginalized communities to defeat this latest manifestation of the age-old virus of racism and hate. We thank the Mayor and the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes for this important first investment in strengthening our efforts to create safeguards that reassure our communities and bring them Hope Against Hate. The way out of this is for ALL New Yorkers to come together and support each other. It’s all of us against racism!”
“As hate is again rearing its ugly and destructive visage we are excited to partner with this extraordinary team of community and faith based organizations and their leadership to meet this challenge placed before us,” said Rabbi Bob Kaplan, Executive Director of the Center for Community Leadership. “It is the responsibility of all New Yorkers to stand together to make the statement, by their actions and words, that: “Hate, in any form, is utterly unacceptable.” The Jewish community, as it confronts an increase in the age-old scourge of anti-Semitism, will likewise partner with their fellow New Yorkers to defeat this societal epidemic. We thank the Mayor and the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes for this important tool in empowering leadership and the communities they serve to step forward to defeat this destructive force of hate that tears at the very fabric of our safety and social compact.”
“This is a crucible time for our LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities – at AVP we have been doing community-based responses to hate violence for over 40 years,” said Beverly Tillery, Executive Director of New York City’s Anti-Violence Project. “We know that the best way forward is for many communities to be resourced to run community-based solutions that support survivors in building safety outside of the criminal legal system.”
“While the last year has united many New Yorkers together as we have struggled through the COVID crisis together, it has also exposed the ugly fault lines around race that still exist in our city,” said Marwa Janini, Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York. “The stresses and political tides of 2020 and 2021 have emboldened bigots to act on their hatred, with consequences that have altered, shattered, and ended lives. Today, we and our partners say ‘No More!’”
“In this climate of heightened tensions and the rise of hate, clergy can transform the way victims of hate crimes and their families are handled and walk with them through the crisis, providing clergy care for all,” said Pastor Gil Monrose, President of the 67th Precinct Clergy Council (“The GodSquad”). “Within many of our Brooklyn communities, clergy have long played a significant and unique role in building and maintaining trusting relationships between our communities, District Attorney, and the NYPD, serving as bridges between residents and law enforcement agencies. We will continue to play a leading role in the sharing of responsibility for public safety with police, community, social service agencies, and anti-hate violence organizations, as we serve the Black community and provide crisis response teams and community relations services.”
“Hispanic Federation commends NYC leadership for establishing the P.A.T.H. FORWARD Initiative,” said Frankie Miranda, President and CEO of Hispanic Federation. “We share in the visceral reaction to the ongoing upsurge of xenophobic acts of violence. For far too long, our communities have carried the undue burden of relentless bigoted rhetoric in public disclosure towards communities of color. Hispanic Federation stands committed to defend our communities and to ensure our interconnectedness is the instrument that combats baseless intolerance and violence across the country and especially here at home.”
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