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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
Hate crimes are the highest priority of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) civil rights program because of the devastating impact they have on families and communities. These crimes are not only an attack on the victim—they are meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community.
In August 2021, the FBI released Hate Crimes Statistics 2020, from the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. The report revealed the highest level of hate crime incidents in nearly two decades, with a 13 percent increase in hate crimes reports submitted by law enforcement agencies. The increase included a 76.6 percent rise in reported attacks on people of Asian descent.
On June 30, 2021, the FBI launched a nationwide effort to build public awareness of hate crimes and reporting avenues, to share information about victim services, and to encourage victims and witnesses to report crimes to law enforcement. The campaign includes traditional media outreach and interviews as well as a first-of-its-kind multi-million-dollar advertising campaign.
The Hate Crimes Awareness Campaign focuses on the FBI’s dedication to our communities and our commitment to protecting all of the diverse individuals we serve, with the tagline “Protecting our communities. Together. Report Hate Crimes.”
Field offices conducted direct outreach to communities, especially those particularly vulnerable to hate crimes. Flyers with reporting information were translated into more than 25 languages. Offices held countless media engagements and community town halls and even created videos with community leaders and celebrities or athletes from their areas. The FBI also notified national organizations that work in similar spaces of this effort, providing reporting avenues and victim services information. ABC News interviewed FBI Criminal Division Deputy Assistant Director Jay Greenburg and Victim Services Division Assistant Director Regina Thompson for a piece detailing the threat, the FBI’s efforts and services, and the outreach campaign.
Both field offices and FBI Headquarters coordinated advertisements that stretch across the country, leveraging everything from out-of-home and social media to traditional print and radio. Advertisements ran in local newsletters and newspapers, were posted on boardwalks and bus shelters, and hung in airports and rail stations. The campaign included more than 125 billboards in every state where billboards are permitted,* including features on the Las Vegas Strip; outside Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts; and along every major interstate from I-95 to I-5, from I-10 to I-90, and everything in between. It also included gas pump videos running at more than 1,000 stations in all 50 states and signage on buses and subways in major markets, including Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and Washington, D.C. National radio and audio streaming companies created spots that reached millions of listeners. Advertisements ran on platforms including Audacy and Pandora streaming channels, iHeartRadio stations across the country, and SiriusXM premium channels. Even iHeartRadio on-air talent, including household names like Bobby Bones, the Breakfast Club, Colin Cowherd, Delilah, Elvis Duran, and Enrique Santos recorded spots in support of this national community effort.
In total, the campaign will have reached more than 400 million impressions. While some individuals surely heard and saw advertisements more than once, message saturation will undoubtedly help the FBI reach into communities and encourage more reporting of hate crimes.
FBI Civil Rights Unit & Office of Public Affairs
*Billboards are not permitted in Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, and Vermont.
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