Mayor Bill de Blasio with New York City officials at the launch of Partners Against the Hate (P.A.T.H) Forward | Photo via Mayor’s Press Office
NEW YORK – New York City officials launched a new initiative called Partners Against the Hate (P.A.T.H) Forward today, May 28, to help combat bias-motivated incidents and hate crimes in New York City. It will provide funding and 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 a 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 (OPHC).
Lauter is optimistic that the program “will have a significant, long-term impact that ensures all New Yorkers feel respected and safe.” The OPHC will distribute $3 million among the six anchor organizations it has selected: 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. They will work closely with OPHC and other city agencies to ensure a comprehensive, community-based approach to preventing hate crime.
The anchors will also serve as judges in the awarding of OPHC Hate Crime Prevention Innovation Grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 to be distributed on a revolving basis throughout the year. The grants are intended to encourage individuals, organizations, and academic institutions to use their entrepreneurial skills to develop projects to reduce hate violence and promote community respect.
The OPHC was formed in September 2019 under the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) and the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (CAU) by Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Council. Its functions are to prevent and respond to hate crimes, develop and coordinate community-driven prevention strategies to address biases fueling such crimes, and foster healing for victims and their communities.
Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation (AAF), noted 1,500 bias incidents on Asian New Yorkers from March 2020 and March 2021.
“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,” she said. “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!” — Ricky Rillera