NYC Against Hate is where communities come together to protect each other and fight identity-based violence.

NYC Against Hate is a diverse coalition of community-based organizations working across identities to make New York safer for our communities. Convened by Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) and the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP), NYC Against Hate includes AAPI, Jewish, Arab-American, Muslim, LGBTQ, and Black and Brown New Yorkers, uniting to create safety for our communities and to build a stronger New York City. We believe that we can’t arrest our way out of bigotry — the only effective solution to hate violence and bias incidents is held in our communities, not in more policing and prosecution. .

Watch a video about our hate violence prevention canvasses:

The Problem

New York City’s current Hate Violence Prevention strategy has been a failure. In 2017, 325 hate crimes were reported to the NYPD; in 2019 there were 420; in 2021 there were 565, and coming out of Q1 of 2022, complaints are up 75%. We are four years into the city’s hate violence crisis and the numbers continue to climb.

The city’s response to date has centered almost exclusively on law enforcement, with millions spent to staff the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Forces. But the NYPD has proven itself unable to reverse the upward trajectory in identity-based violence, and over the last five years there have been a total of only 87 hate crimes convictions in New York City.

This is because policing and prosecution have been the wrong strategies from the beginning. Research shows that hate crimes laws have no deterrent effect, and many of the communities targeted by hate violence are also the least likely to report to the police. Hate crimes arrests are by definition post-hoc, not a prevention strategy, and impossible to scale to the size of the problem. If we are serious about preventing violence, it’s past time for a new approach.

Day Against Hate Canvass, February 2020

The Solution

An effective hate violence prevention strategy must begin within the communities that are being targeted, and resource community-based organizations to empower vulnerable New Yorkers and address the factors that lead to bias incidents.

This approach emphasizes culturally competent and socially responsive diversity education for all ages; building robust, active ties between communities to cultivate shared interests and responsibility; bystander intervention training; community-based reporting of hate violence incidents; and community care, including community- led transformative justice processes as well as counseling and peer support services for survivors of violence.

Photo of a crowd of JFREJ members holding signs reading "Jews against Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism"
Iftar in the Streets, 2018

The 2023 New York City Budget

The NYC Against Hate coalition is seeking an expansion of funding for these key programs:

P.A.T.H. Forward: We call on Mayor Adams to increase funding for the P.A.T.H. Forward program to $10 million, directed to the same experienced anchor organizations so that they can build on the program’s successes to date. P.A.T.H. Forward was initiated by the de Blasio administration and in its first year directed $2.4 million in funding to six anchor organizations to provide programs and services that address hate violence, as well as provide grants to additional organizations that serve vulnerable populations. The goal is to ensure a comprehensive, community-driven approach to preventing bias incidents and hate crimes, and public safety; strengthen relations among diverse communities through programming and restorative justice practices; provide educational resources and training; develop strategies to enhance reporting; improve data collection on bias incidents and hate crimes; and to expand victim services.

Hate Crimes Prevention Initiative: The City Council’s Hate Crimes Prevention Initiative provides resources to community-based organizations to engage in culturally-competent hate violence prevention and education, and comprises a significant portion of the programmatic budget of the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes. It was funded at approximately $1.7 million dollars in FY20 and in the years following, that already low-level of funding has been cut repeatedly, NYC Against Hate supports the New York City Council’s proposal to increase funding for HCPI to $5 million in FY23.

Hope Against Hate: The Hope Against Hate Campaign is the Asian American Federation-led comprehensive response to the brutal wave of anti-AAPI violence rocking New York City. We ask that the Council fully fund this Campaign alongside the direct services provided by community organizations through a $6 million allocation to the AAPI Community Support Initiative. The initiative is led by the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF) and would support AAPI-led and -serving organizations with direct services, mental health support, youth programs, racial literacy, and other culturally competent services to create a safer New York City where all communities can thrive.

L: Responding to an incident of Islamophobic vandalism in Brooklyn, 2021. R: Brooklyn vigil following the Monsey stabbings, 2019 (Gili Getz)

Since 2016, JFREJ has been a member of the Hate Free Zones coalition, led by DRUM (Desis Rising Up & Moving), which fights to protect communities from Islamophobia, xenophobia, state violence and hate violence.

A Hate Free Zone is “a community defense system that will allow us to defend our communities from workplace raids, deportations, mass criminalization, violence, and systemic violation of our rights and dignity.” Jewish safety is directly tied to building solidarity with our neighbors. Hate Free Zones is an exercise in nurturing this shared commitment to our mutual safety.

The fruits of this effort were evident after the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue, when we hosted a Havdallah vigil in Union Square and a Solidarity Shabbat in Jackson Heights, Queens. When danger struck in our Jewish community, it was these our partners, hailing from South Asian, Latinx, and Filipino communities, with signs in Urdu, Bangla, Spanish, and Tagalog, who created a protective circle around us as we performed our rituals of mourning.

We have hosted Hate Free Zones town halls and bystander intervention trainings including Cop Watch and ICE Watch trainings, with the goal of organizing the Jewish community in each neighborhood to intervene in instances of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim violence and street harassment.

These moments of empathy and solidarity represented everything we’ve been building together — a community protection system where we know our neighbors and we all rise together when needed.