ADL crafted the first model hate crime legislation in America, and 45 states plus the District of Columbia now have laws based on or similar to ADL’s model. We also led the large coalition of organizations that ultimately spearheaded the passage of the landmark Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009, which ensured a federal hate crimes law.
ADL’s work has led to hate crimes becoming a stand-alone field of criminal law, inspiring police departments to form bias crime units and provide special training. But there is still a great deal of work to be done. After the heinous Charleston church shooting in 2015, we launched #50StatesAgainstHate, designed to make certain that minority groups are protected with comprehensive hate crimes laws in every state.