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Mayor Adams Announces Curriculum On Hate Crimes And Their Impact For New York City Schools

April 30, 2024

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the release of ‘Teaching About Hate Crimes and their Impacts,’ a series of hate crimes lessons designed to teach students in New York City public schools about hate crimes and bias incidents, as well as their impact on individuals and communities. As hate crimes continue to rise around the nation, with a particular influence on young people, the New York City Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC), with support from the New York City Department of Education (DOE), partnered with Facing History & Ourselves to develop the curriculum and provide training for educators.

‘Teaching About Hate Crimes and their Impacts’ includes five lessons that empower educators to enrich students’ understanding of diversity, sharpen critical thinking skills, and foster a culture of increased civic engagement — all of which are crucial skills for instilling social responsibility. Students will learn to identify motives and behaviors that cause hate crimes, examine the impacts of current hate crime trends on communities, and design initiatives that promote inclusion and collective action.

“Our children are at a breaking point, and investing in programming that fosters a greater understanding of diversity and the importance of inclusion is an important way to dam one of the many rivers that feeds the sea of hate,” said Mayor Adams. “Despite the uptick in hate crimes we are seeing across the city and nation — whether it be against someone’s religion, culture, gender, sexual orientation, or anything else — we know that New York City is the greatest city in the world because of our extensive diversity. This curriculum builds on our ‘Breaking Bread, Building Bonds’ initiative and will help ensure that our school children are part of the solution to stamp out hate wherever it rears its ugly head.” 

The lessons are available to students in grades 6-12 and are offered as a virtual resource to the public on the OPHC and Facing History & Ourselves’ websites. Facing History & Ourselves has trained DOE’s educators on the hate crime curriculum with more training opportunities forthcoming over the next year.

The city legislatively mandates the OPHC to produce a hate crime curriculum for schools. ‘Teaching About Hate Crimes and their Impacts’ satisfies that mandate and reaffirms the Adams administration’s commitment to combat the rising number of hate crimes across the five boroughs. Facing History & Ourselves will regularly reexamine these lessons with the OPHC to offer updates and keep them current.

‘Teaching About Hate Crimes and their Impacts’ is one of the OPHC’ initiatives that combats hate, bias, and discrimination. In early 2023, Mayor Adams launched ‘Breaking Bread, Building Bonds,’ which aimed to bring 10,000 New Yorkers together to learn about common bonds, share cultures and traditions, and break down silos. In only 11 months, ‘Breaking Bread, Building Bonds’ surpassed the goal of bringing 10,000 New Yorkers together with the support of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, and others.

“Hate has no home in our schools, and we are proud to partner with the OPHC in the fight against bigotry,” said DOE Chancellor David C. Banks. “We are educating our youth about the dangers of hate both to meet this challenging moment in our world and to build a brighter future for us all.”

“Cross-cultural literacy is essential to counteract hate and reduce bias incidents,” said Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) Director Deanna Logan. “This curriculum ensures our students receive that additional comprehensive education. We appreciate Mayor Adams’ leadership and support in the positive engagement of the youngest New Yorkers to promote learning and understanding as essential resources for public safety.”

“With bigotry and hate on the rise across the globe, including right here in our own community, it is more important than ever that we give teachers and students the tools to discuss these difficult topics in a thoughtful way,” said Pam Haas, executive director, Facing History & Ourselves. “Our experience with developing curriculum to combat bigotry and hate for nearly 50 years has shown that as students develop their knowledge and understanding, they exhibit greater empathy and choose to stand up.”

About OPHC

As part of the MOCJ, the OPHC takes a holistic approach to preventing hate crimes, developing and coordinating community-driven prevention strategies to address biases fueling such crimes, and fostering healing for victims and their communities.

About Facing History & Ourselves

Facing History & Ourselves uses the lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate. Facing History & Ourselves’ classroom resources and professional development offerings examine racism, antisemitism, and prejudice at pivotal moments in history and helps students learn about the impact of choices made in the past and connect them to the choices they will confront in their own lives. Facing History & Ourselves believes understanding shared history and how it informs attitudes and behaviors allows participants to choose a world of equity and justice.

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