NYC announces new initiative, commits $3 million to combat hate crimes

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City is launching an initiative to help combat bias-motivated incidents and hate crimes in the city.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced the Partners Against the Hate FORWARD initiative to help provide funding and support to six organizations to promote community-based approaches to reduce hate crimes.

The program includes $3 million in funding for the anchor organizations the city has selected as partners.

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Those organizations include:

-Anti-Violence Project
-Arab American Association of New York
-Asian American Federation
-Hispanic Federation
-Jewish Community Relations Council
-67th Precinct Clergy Council

"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."

P.A.T.H. FORWARD anchor organizations 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.

"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."

There was a rally in the heart of Chinatown on Thursday, featuring prominent Black leaders, for an unmistakable show of solidarity.

"You can't fight for George Floyd and ignore the hate that's being done in the Asian community, you can't fight for all of the victims unless you fight for every victim, that's why we're in Chinatown," said Rev. Al Sharpton with National Action Network.



"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' 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."

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed New York State Police to increase patrols in Jewish communities during Shabbos. This follows a previously announced increase in State Police presence at downstate synagogues, schools and other Jewish community facilities following a number of recent anti-Semitic attacks in New York and around the country this week.

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Officials agree that smaller communities that may not have the resources to do lengthy background checks will benefit the most from the Wandering Officers law.



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