Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $750,000)
New Jersey is a richly diverse state, with a long history of being home to many new immigrants, people of color, and vibrant cultural communities. However, New Jersey is also experiencing a significant increase in bias incidents/crimes.
To respond to this troubling escalation, the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ), within New Jersey’s Attorney General’s Office, seeks grant funding under the BJA FY 21 Collaborative Approaches toward Preventing and Addressing Hate Crime — Demonstration Projects. DCJ will apply for the full $750,000 to be used over three years.
These grant funds will be used to pursue a large scale, comprehensive, public awareness campaign. Television print, radio, digital, and social media will be utilized for a media blitz intended to reach all New Jerseyans. The public awareness campaign will be complemented by multiple community-based events, as well as trainings for law enforcement and victim services professionals. These educational events will be designed to help these stakeholders better identify, report, charge, and prosecute bias crimes.
Through the implementation of a widespread public awareness campaign, in conjunction with education, training and community-based events, DCJ hopes to accomplish the goals of 1) reversing the upward trend of bias crimes in New Jersey, and 2) strengthening the role of each New Jerseyan in addressing bias crimes and incidents in the state. DCJ believes that this “full court press” approach is necessary to effectuate change in beliefs and behaviors surrounding bias crimes.
DCJ will utilize the state’s competitive bidding process to select an advertising/public relations agency to produce this multifaceted, statewide campaign. Working in collaboration with executive staff from DCJ, the Office of the Attorney General, the Division on Civil Rights, and OAG Communications, the selected agency will devise a strategic communications plan to execute DCJ’s vision of increasing visibility of bias crimes and incidents in New Jersey.
With the above mentioned staff, the Agency will develop creative content to explain the nature and of bias crimes, how to identify a bias crimes, how to report a bias crime, and how to receive victim services if affected by a bias crime. DCJ envisions this to be a one year campaign to saturate the market for a bolder and deeper impact in the State.