The Center's Embrace Brooklyn initiative celebrated the incredible diversity of the borough of Brooklyn, and worked to address the challenges inherent in such a nuanced tapestry of cultures, religions, incomes, etc. The Center is addressed hate crimes prevention in the borough with community partners and city agencies, and is recorded Brooklynites' diverse stories through its Brooklyn StoryCorps initiative.
Stepping Up: A Community Conference to Prevent Hate Crimes
The diversity of the borough is one of its greatest assets, yet it also presents some of its greatest challenges. The recent spike in hate crimes highlighted the significant real (and perceived) public safety and quality of life issues related to the racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, sexual orientation, and income diversity of Brooklyn’s residents. In response to the need for a collaborative borough-wide approach to addressing hate crimes, in April 2008 the Center co-sponsored (with We Are All Brooklyn and the Jewish Community Relations Council) Stepping Up: A Community Conference to Prevent Hate Crimes. The 150 community leaders who participated in the conference represented Brooklyn community, faith, advocacy, higher education and youth organizations and leaders. Conference presenters included the New York City Police Department and Kings County District Attorney’s office, and participants attended workshops to inform the subsequent drafting of a Brooklyn hate crimes prevention strategic plan. During the workshops, data and research needs related to hate crimes prevention and perpetration were also identified. Participants filled out a survey regarding their personal and professional experiences with hate crimes. A committee of Brooklyn College faculty and staff convened by the Center for the Study of Brooklyn played a key role in the planning of the conference.
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Brooklyn Hate Crimes Prevention Task Force Strategic Plan
Following the conference, several Brooklyn community leaders founded the Brooklyn Hate Crimes Prevention Task Force, whose first order of business was to articulate a comprehensive strategic plan for the borough that addressed the prevention of hate crimes. The Center for the Study of Brooklyn facilitated the drafting of the strategic plan, which outlined goals and activities regarding leadership education and outreach, research and data needs, replicable core programming and opportunities for funding.
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