Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,000,000)
Under Category 2 of the Community-Based Approaches to Prevent and Address Hate Crimes MovementForward, Inc. (MFI), a modern, inclusive social change & non-profit organization working to protect, promote and advance the human and civil rights of all people, proposes developing and implementing the Preventing and Addressing Rural Hate Crime (PARHC) Project in rural areas (categorized as under 2,500 residents) across the United States. Specifically, under the PARHC Project, MFI will design and disseminate materials, tools, and strategies for building capacity in local & community organizations and local law enforcement partners to implement approaches to prevent hate crimes against new arrivals. Programming will promote community awareness and preparedness, increase victim reporting and improve responses. The project will commence with three pilot sites before scaling its strategies nationally.
This initiative will focus on rural communities, as law enforcement in these locales often struggles to support new arrivals who are at increased risk of hate crimes. Rural agencies can be thinly staffed, with few resources dedicated to community engagement, and many officers are themselves long-term residents and unfamiliar or even partially uncomfortable with demographic changes. Language barriers exist, as do cultural and religious expectations that officers are uncertain how to navigate, including attitudes toward authority, gender, and direct interaction. Faith-based organizations can facilitate improved interaction between officers and new arrivals in these areas.
MFI will convene national and local working groups of stakeholders to plan and implement the PARHC Project overall and in the three pilot sites. Printed materials and training based on the successful outcomes from the pilot sites will be used to replicate the project in rural communities throughout the United State. Research will be conducted at the start, on an ongoing basis, and conclusion of this initiative to identify efficacy.