Washington, DC, June 28, 2017…The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) will join with representatives of America’s leading civil rights and religious organizations on Thursday to present at the Justice Department’s Hate Crimes Subcommittee Summit, where Attorney General Jeff Sessions will address participants.
ADL’s experts will participate in workshops and roundtables and offer a series of recommendations and strategies on how to improve hate crime training, reporting, data collection, = prevention and victim services, while urging the administration to improve federal government efforts to respond to bias-motivated violence.
“We are proud to join the Justice Department in this important effort to address the growing problem of hate crimes in this country and we welcome the attorney general speaking at the event,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “ADL is seeing an unprecedented increase in hate crimes and incidents across the country and we have called for a comprehensive plan of action to improve the government’s response to bias-motivated crimes. We are pleased to see a continuing commitment to federal hate crime enforcement from the Department of Justice.
"However, the department’s response to hate crimes cannot be viewed separately from the administration’s continued discriminatory policies which have driven wedges between law enforcement and marginalized communities and heightened fears among the most vulnerable groups in our society. We will continue to call on the attorney general and the administration to uphold our nation’s highest ideals of equality and fair treatment for all.”
ADL’s participants include Deborah Lauter, Senior Vice President of Policy & Programs; Michael Lieberman, Washington Counsel; and Melissa Garlick, Northeast Civil Rights Area Counsel. They will join with other representatives of civil rights, religious, education, and professional organizations for the daylong event at the Justice Department.
The Hate Crime Summit comes amidst a documented increase of bias-motivated harassment and violence targeting Jews, Muslims, LGBT individuals, immigrants and other marginalized communities across the country.
ADL is one of the nation’s foremost leaders on hate crime training and response. Through its network of 27 regional offices in the U.S., the League advocates for stronger hate crime laws and trains law enforcement officers on how to identify bias crimes.
ADL has called on the Attorney General to focus on the following priorities for bias crimes:
- Justice should establish an interagency task force to coordinate hate crime prevention initiatives and responses across the executive branch. ADL applauded Justice for creating a Hate Crime Subcommittee within the Attorney General’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety. A federal task force is the next necessary and logical step;
- Helping law enforcement agencies to improve data collection and training on how to effectively address hate crimes and their victims; current data collection is woefully inadequate and understates the magnitude of the hate crime problem. There are 87 cities in America with more than 100,000 in population that either told the FBI they had zero hate crimes or did not provide any information.
- Moving forward on legislation, including enacting into law the NO HATE Act; passing an amendment to include threats in the Church Arson Prevention Act; securing congressional passage of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, and strengthening existing state hate crimes laws.
- Exploring approaches to address cyberhate, such as studying the connection between online hate and bias-motivated violence as well as considering new, constitutionally sound means for legal redress for victims of cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and doxing.
- Making sure to call out bigotry whenever it happens. The most effective response to the recent increase in anti-Semitic and other hate crimes across the U.S. is to provide government funding for anti-bias initiatives, encourage public officials and law enforcement authorities to speak out whenever it happens, and strengthen hate crime prevention and response.