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NYC report on anti-black racism suggests strengthening resources, reforms

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Posted at 4:44 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 16:46:11-04

NEW YORK — A city-commissioned report on anti-Black racism in the Big Apple said it identified places where New York City's Commission on Human Rights could strengthen its work to combat racism.

The report includes a detailed history of racism in New York City and a diverse focus group meant to define its goals and speak further to their experiences with racism in the city, including barriers to reporting discrimination. They also defined what the city is doing as of now to combat all forms of racism.

The report was authored by commission alongside a consulting group and called out "steps" it felt the city could take to strengthen its relationship with the Black community.

  • Dedicate additional resources for law enforcement, community relations and policy work focused on race- and color- based discrimination and, specifically, manifestations of anti-Black racism.
  • Develop and advance legislation and other policy measures that will protect Black New Yorkers and other groups targeted for discrimination, drawing upon insights shared by participants.
  • Host public hearings on race-based discrimination in predominantly Black neighborhoods in the city. Such hearings would allow the Commission to gather additional information from New Yorkers about what they are experiencing and educate New Yorkers about the agency’s reporting, investigation, and litigation processes and available remedies.
  • Deepen and expand relationships with organizations serving Black New Yorkers and develop hyper-local programming in Black communities across the city.
  • Develop new strategies for addressing race-based discrimination and harassment in places of public accommodation across the city.
  • Provide training on race and color discrimination under the City Human Rights Law tailored specifically for staff at New York City agencies.
  • Create programming for implementation in gentrifying neighborhoods to build understanding of how anti-Black racism operates in modern-day New York City.

"The Commission has intensified its efforts to call out anti-Black racism as a threat to human rights in New York City and provide outlets for the city’s Black communities to speak to the discrimination and harassment experienced by their families, friends and neighbors," said Human Rights Commission Chair and Commissioner Carmelyn P. Malalis. "We are dedicated to being partners in this fight and we hope we can spur others to do the same."

You can read the entire report here.