One year ago today, President Biden and Vice President Harris hosted the United We Stand Summit to counter the corrosive effects of hate-fueled violence on our democracy and public safety, highlight the response of the Biden-Harris Administration and communities nationwide to these dangers, and put forward a shared, bipartisan vision for a more united America.
Hate must have no safe harbor in America. Even as our nation has endured a disturbing series of hate-fueled attacks—from Jacksonville to Oak Creek to Orlando, Charleston, Pittsburgh, El Paso, Atlanta, Buffalo, and beyond —Americans of all beliefs and political affiliations remain overwhelmingly united in their opposition to such violence. When Americans cannot freely participate in the basic activities of everyday life—like going to school, shopping at the grocery store, or attending their house of worship—without fear of being targeted and killed for who they are, the very fabric of our society is at risk.
Since taking office, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken numerous steps to counter hate-fueled violence—from signing the bipartisan COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, to releasing the first-ever National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, to signing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant legislation in three decades to reduce gun violence. Today, on the first anniversary of the White House United We Stand Summit, the Biden-Harris Administration is providing an update on our efforts to prevent, respond to, and recover from hate-fueled violence, including by:
- Combating hate by investigating and prosecuting hate crimes. Since January 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged more than 90 defendants in over 80 cases and secured more than 70 convictions of defendants. The Federal Bureau of Investigations has elevated civil rights violations and hate crimes enforcement for prioritization among its 56 field offices. DOJ directed the Chief of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division to expedite review of hate crimes.
- Supporting communities to report hate crimes and build cross-community partnerships to prevent and combat hate-fueled violence. By the end of the month, DOJ will have launched the United Against Hate program in all 94 of its U.S. Attorney’s Offices to strengthen trust between law enforcement and communities and to teach community members how to identify and report hate crimes and hate incidents. DOJ has already held more than 200 events nationwide. DOJ has awarded over $32 million in grant funding to law enforcement and prosecution agencies, community-based organizations, and civil rights groups to support outreach, investigations, prosecutions, community awareness and preparedness, reporting, hotlines, victim services, as well as supporting research and program evaluation studies. More information about DOJ’s response to hate crimes in available here.
- Countering domestic terrorism. The Biden-Harris Administration continues to implement steadfastly the first-ever U.S. National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism. Since the strategy was released in June 2021, we have sharpened our understanding of the domestic terrorism threat through enhanced intelligence analysis, strengthened local and especially community-based efforts to prevent acts of domestic terrorism, and expanded our capabilities to disrupt and prosecute such acts—all while safeguarding privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties. Examples of actions we have taken include launching a new website with resources for financial institutions to improve anti-money laundering programs, joining the multistakeholder Christchurch Call to Action to address the role of the Internet in recruiting and radicalizing individuals to terrorism, doubling the number of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) domestic terrorism and domestic violent extremism cases in two years, and forming a new domestic terrorism unit in the National Security Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ). More information on these and many other actions the Administration has taken to implement the Strategy is available here.
- Helping schools prevent, address, and ameliorate the effects of bullying, violence, and hate. In May 2023, the Department of Education (ED) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched the Free to Learn campaign to help educational institutions improve their ability to prevent hate-based threats and bullying, recover from hate-based violence, and enhance overall school safety. To support this effort, ED issued guidance about the ways in which Bipartisan Safer Communities Act funding may be used for these purposes, shared a collection of resources through the Best Practices Clearinghouse, and held several Free to Learn webinars and two large conferences to highlight evidence-based and innovative practices. Additionally, DOJ, ED, DHS, and HHS released a summary of federal resources for parents, caregivers, and community members on schoolsafety.gov, a collaborative, interagency website that provides K-12 schools and districts with resources, guidance, and best practices for creating a safe and supportive learning environment.
- Protecting colleges and universities. ED is preparing to issue a call to action for institutions of higher education to strengthen their efforts to prevent and respond to hate-based violence on their campuses and in their surrounding communities. ED is also providing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with resources on effective practices in prevention and response to hate-fueled violence and continues to support HBCUs and other Project SERV applicants with technical assistance to help support recovery from a violent or traumatic event; to date all 13 HBCUs that were targeted with bomb threats and submitted grant applications for Project SERV have received over $2.4 million in awards.
- Enhancing the capacity of local institutions to prevent targeted violence. On September 6, 2023, DHS announced the award of 34 Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) grants, totaling $20 million, for state, local, Tribal, and territorial governments, nonprofits, and colleges and universities to establish or enhance capabilities to prevent targeted violence and terrorism. A Summary of FY23 awardees can be found here.
- Increasing financial, technical, and educational resources to keep communities safe. In March 2023, the Administration launched the Prevention Resource Finder, the first-ever website with a comprehensive list of Federal resources available to help state and local governments, community organizations, houses of worship, schools, and others prevent acts of targeted violence and terrorism. The website offers nearly 100 resources from 17 Federal partners all in one place. In its first month, the website received more than 24,000 page views and more than 10,000 return users.
- Leveraging the power of national service to promote civic renewal and foster national unity. AmeriCorps launched its United We Serve campaign to encourage and amplify opportunities for Americans to come together and engage in service and volunteerism. To support this effort, AmeriCorps onboarded a Bridging Fellow to help coordinate AmeriCorps programs, state service commissions, and leaders in the bridging community. AmeriCorps, in partnership with Service Year Alliance, has begun a multi-year pilot project to elevate existing and identify innovate bridging initiatives, and to create, test, measure, and spread effective practices that best equip AmeriCorps members with the skills to bridge divides across our society,
- Committing cultural resources to help communities prevent and heal in the face of hate-based violence. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and National Endowments for the Arts (NEA) launched a new “United We Stand: Connecting Through Culture” initiative that leverages the arts and humanities to address hate-motivated violence. Next week, NEH is announcing $2.8 million in funding for every state, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. jurisdictions for programming promoting civic engagement, social cohesion, and cross-cultural understanding. In 2024, NEH and NEA will host nationwide convenings and develop resources that center the arts and humanities around these themes.
- Protecting LGBTQI+ communities from attacks on their safety. In June 2023, in celebration of Pride Month, the Biden-Harris Administration announced new actions to protect LGBTQI+ communities from attacks on their rights and safety, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with support from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), launching the LGBTQI+ Community Safety Partnership. The Partnership will provide critical safety resources to LGBTQI+ community organizations to ensure they remain safe spaces for the community.
- Addressing the rise of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and related forms bias and discrimination. In December 2022, President Biden established an interagency group led by Domestic Policy Council staff and National Security Council staff to increase and better coordinate U.S. Government efforts to counter antisemitism, Islamophobia, and related forms of bias and discrimination within the United States. The President tasked the interagency group, as its first order of business, to develop a national strategy to counter antisemitism. In May 2023, the White House released the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, which includes over 100 actions that more than two dozen government agencies will take by May 2024 to counter antisemitism, as well as over 100 calls to action for Congress, state and local governments, companies, technology platforms, students, teachers and academics, civil society and faith leaders, and others to counter antisemitism.
- Addressing Anti-Asian Hate. In January 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration released the first-ever National Strategy to Advance Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) Communities, which includes prioritizing the response to the increasing number of bias incidents and discrimination against AA and NHPIs, promoting belonging, equity, and inclusion, and improving access to federal resources. More information on specific actions the Administration has taken to counter anti-Asian hate can be found here.
President Biden understands that addressing hate-based violence and fostering national unity cannot be accomplished by the government alone—instead, it requires an all-of-society effort and every American can play a role in advancing this cause. Several private sector partners continue to make progress on commitments announced at the United We Stand Summit, including:
- Nearly 200 mayors have now signed the Mayors’ Compact to Combat Hate and Extremism. By joining this Compact, organized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Anti-Defamation League, mayors commit to taking key actions to prevent and address hate-fueled violence and build bridges across differences to create respect for and inclusion of all peoples within their communities. The U.S. Conference of Mayors continues to support mayors’ implementation of the Compact, including by providing technical assistance and forums for discussion. In June, Second Gentleman Douglass Emhoff joined the Conference’s annual meeting to discuss mayors’ efforts to counter antisemitism.
- Four major civic institutions—Catholic Charities USA, YMCA of the USA, Interfaith America, and Habitat for Humanity International—launched the Team Up Project, an ambitious initiative to promote unity by equipping community leaders with the skills and resources to bridge divides in communities across the United States. In May 2023, Team Up trained its first cohort of leaders, who are now working in 32 communities in 23 states to plan robust local bridgebuilding events over the next six months. For example, in Jacksonville, Florida, First Coast YMCA is partnering with the Jewish Community Alliance on the “Together Against Hate: Promoting Unity in Our Community” project to build a more inclusive Northeast Florida.
- Following the announcement of its launch at the United We Stand Summit, Dignity.us engaged in an extensive research and stakeholder outreach sprint—including meeting with stakeholders across 50 states and tribal lands, interviewing hundreds of experts and affected community members, and commissioning a nationally represented survey—to better understand the challenges in preventing hate-fueled violence (HFV). In response to these findings, in the coming months Dignity.us will launch a new hub to help to unite the fields of preventive actors and targeted communities, bring in new strategic partners to anti-HFV coalitions, and work with innovators to catalyze new methods to address hate-animating narratives. Dignity.us’ leadership includes four former Directors of the White House Domestic Policy Council under Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald J. Trump.
- The Trust for Civic Infrastructure, announced at the Summit, is committed to building a vibrant, diverse democracy for generations to come, as recommended in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences report, Our Common Purpose. The grantmaking collaborative will support local programming that brings residents to act on shared problems, building social trust and deepening democratic bonds. The Trust has a goal to secure $30 million in funding by the end of the year and it is completing a participatory design process to determine its grantmaking strategy. The Trust will begin investing in communities in January 2024, with a focus on supporting civic programming in rural America, including forging rural-urban connections and innovative civic infrastructure models that are equipped for the digital age.
- Since the United We Stand summit, the McCain Institute’s Prevention Practitioners Network has grown to over 1,225 interdisciplinary professionals committed to preventing hate-fueled violence. The Network hosted two in-person symposia and five workshops with over 1,600 views; reached 1,709,345 concerned adults with the SCREEN Hate campaign; recruited 186 organizations to join a national directory of resources for youth at risk of hate fueled-violence; and published a comprehensive framework for preventing targeted violence, a framework for philanthropic investment in prevention, and a prioritized research agenda.