Posted on September 25, 2019 in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Tess Waggoner | twaggoner@aaiusa.org | (202)429-9210

September 25, 2019

 

On Wednesday, September 25, 2019, the Arab American Institute joined a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress and leading national civil rights groups to call for the passage of the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act of 2019 (Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act). The siblings of Khalid Jabara and the mother of Heather Heyer, in whose memory the bill is named, were joined by bill cosponsors Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mark Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Representatives Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D-VA) and Pete Olson (R-TX). AAI Executive Director Maya Berry spoke at the press conference on the urgent need for better hate crime data reporting and collection.

The following is a statement from Berry:

“The DOJ, the FBI, the nation’s law enforcement agencies, and policy makers all know there is a massive underreporting of hate crimes. It is possible that FBI statistics capture as little as one percent of the hate crimes that occur annually, meaning hundreds of thousands of hate crimes go unreported each year. Behind every missing datapoint is a name, a family, a community. We must say the names, support the families, and elevate the communities of those targeted by hate. Improving our method of hate crime reporting and data collection is the necessary first step.

We are indebted to the families of Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer, the members of Congress leading this effort, and our civil rights partners. We have collectively worked hard in support of the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act because it will get us closer to what Congress set out to do in passing the Hate Crime Statistics Act three decades ago. Now as then, our elected officials—both Democrats and Republicans—must come together to pass the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act.”

 


Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent. AAI provides policy, research and public affairs services to support a broad range of community activities. Our report, Underreported, Under Threat: Hate Crime in the United States and the Targeting of Arab Americans 1991-2016, identifies target areas for improvement and provides state-based recommendations. Complete with ratings for each state based on its overall response, this resource guide can be used to empower readers throughout the United States to advocate for a better response to hate crime in their communities. For more information please visit aaiusa.org 

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