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 in Q1 of 2022, complaints were up 75%. We are over 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.

Responding to an incident of Islamophobic vandalism in Brooklyn, 2021
Brooklyn vigil following the Monsey stabbings, 2019 (Gili Getz)
Drag Story Hour Defense in Jackson Heights, December 2022

After the election of Donald Trump in 2016, our partners at DRUM (Desis Rising Up & Moving) launched the Hate Free Zones initiative. We proudly joined the effort to protect Muslim and immigrant New Yorkers from Islamophobia, xenophobia, state violence and hate violence. Today, the NYC Against Hate coalition carries on in the spirit of this groundbreaking work.

From 2016 through 2019, we and our partners 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.

In 2017 and 2018, JFREJ members served as community safety marshals at our Muslim cousins' Iftar in the Streets events. After the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue, when JFREJ hosted a Havdallah vigil in Union Square and a Solidarity Shabbat in Jackson Heights, Queens, many of these same partners, hailing from South Asian, Latino/a/x, and Filipino/a/x communities, with signs in Urdu, Bangla, Spanish, and Tagalog, created a protective circle around us as we performed our rituals of mourning.

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.

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