Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $347,000)
The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, which is part of the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, seeks funding to support a statewide community mediation program, called the Community Peacemakers Collaborative. The program will aim to address and prevent hate crimes and bias incidents across the State by training individuals across New Jersey’s 21 counties, including community leaders and students on college and university campuses, on alternative dispute resolution in the aftermath of a bias incident, basic principles of community mediation, and best practices for responding in the aftermath of a bias incident.
The individuals who participate in this program will serve as ambassadors for anti-bias initiatives and as resources for other members of their community who may have experienced (or know someone who has experienced) a bias incident or hate crime. The participants will thereby expand the reach of the Department’s efforts to combat the rise in bias and hate crimes across New Jersey, and will also expand public awareness of the resources available to victims of hate crimes.
The proposal seeks funding for an eight-week program to educate the participants in the Community Peacemakers Collaborative on prevention, intervention, and response methods through facilitated training. The expected outcome of the program is that the program will build overall community collaboration, communication, and resource-sharing on bias and hate. This will ultimately help ensure that constituents across the State, including in communities the Department may not regularly reach, know about their right to file complaints regarding bias incidents and bias crimes, and will thereby aid the State’s enforcement efforts in response to bias incidents and hate crimes.