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ACCESS commends Senate for passage of COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act


For immediate release

April 22, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – ACCESS—the nation’s largest Arab American community nonprofit—commends the Senate for passage of the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act (Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act). When the bill was formally introduced in the House earlier this month, ACCESS joined 87 other civil and human rights organizations in signing onto a statement urging Congressmembers to support and cosponsor the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act. As the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act moves to the House, we call on the lower chamber to send this bill to President Biden’s desk to sign into law.

ACCESS D.C. Policy Manager Adam Beddawi gave the following statement:

“The Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act takes significant steps to improve hate crimes data collection and reporting. Historically, the lack of a Federal standard for bottom-up hate crimes data has impeded the ability of marginalized communities to identify and remediate hate-based violence. Furthermore, the grantmaking provisions of the bill will improve the terms of engagement between community groups and law enforcement agencies, who share specific and important goals: improving the social and material conditions for the people we serve. Too often, opaque law enforcement processes undermine otherwise very important debates over the state of our communities and the social relations within them.

To prevent hate crimes and counter the bias and exclusionary sentiments which fuel them, we must directly address antagonisms between people in their local contexts, whether through material resources or service provision. If passed, the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act would allow community groups, legislators, and agency officials to share an understanding of hate crimes as a specific aspect of societal health and well-being. From there, we can begin to address other factors which contribute to social stratification and persistent bias in local contexts.”

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Grounded in a grassroots commitment to empowerment, ACCESS is the largest Arab American community nonprofit in the U.S., with a 50-year history of nonprofit of excellence. Guided by our vision of a just and equitable society for all, with the full participation of Arab Americans, we empower communities in Southeast Michigan to improve their economic, social and cultural well-being through an extensive network of health, education, employment and social services programming. Our mission extends nationally through our highly esteemed institutions—The National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), the Arab American National Museum (AANM) and the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP)—which are focused on making an impact through advocacy, the arts and philanthropy.