Alliance, other groups receive $400,000 grant to fight hate crimes


The Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office has been awarded a Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Program grant to increase education on reporting and combating hate crimes across the state.  

The $400,000 grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, will provide crucial support in Rhode Island’s efforts to battle bigotry and discrimination and promote tolerance and understanding.

To confront the alarming trend of hate crimes head-on, the Attorney General’s Office has named five organizations as sub-recipients of the grant: the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, the Non-Violence Institute, the Center for Southeast Asians, Youth Pride, Inc. and the Rhode Island Commission on Prejudice and Bias. Each organization will play an integral role in implementing programming aimed at increasing public awareness and reporting of hate crimes.

Hate crimes remain a persistent problem in Rhode Island, with statistics highlighting the urgent need for action. According to recent data, Rhode Island experienced a rise in hate crimes in 2022, with “religion” outstripping “race/ethnicity/ancestry,” “sexual orientation,” “disability,” “gender” and “gender identity” as the top bias motivation category.

Across the country, 2,042 hate crimes based on religious bias were reported to the FBI in 2022, with over half of those acts perpetrated against Jewish Americans. These acts of bigotry and intolerance not only threaten the safety and well-being of individuals but also undermine the fabric of our communities.

All 49 of the law-enforcement agencies in the state of Rhode Island report their hate-crime data to the U.S. Department of Justice, forming a meaningful picture of how hate has spread across the state. The importance of reporting hate crimes – both knowing how to do so and the act of doing so – is at the heart of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Program grants.

The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island has a steadfast commitment to combating hate and fostering inclusivity and has been working to raise awareness about hate crimes and provide support to those who experience them.

Most notably, the Alliance’s outreach efforts include fostering partnerships with non-Jewish organizations and leaders to combat prejudice and promote inclusivity, as well as educating the local Jewish community and partners about understanding modern antisemitism and how to report incidents of bias. 

The Jewish Alliance’s professional team also offers connections to law enforcement and other needed support when a community member experiences an act of hate or bias. 

When acts of hate have been perpetuated against other marginalized communities, such as the arson threat to Shiloh Gospel Temple Ministries, in North Providence, the Alliance reaches out to connect and reaffirm the importance of connectivity and acceptance in Rhode Island, and Jewish representatives show up in solidarity.

In addition to community support and solidarity, reporting hate crimes is essential in ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable and victims receive the support they need.

For individuals who have experienced or witnessed a hate crime, resources are available for reporting. The Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office provides a Hate Crimes Reporting Form on its website, allowing individuals to report incidents of hate or bias.

For reports specifically involving antisemitism, victims and witnesses can also use the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island’s Antisemitism Tracker at

EMMA NEWBERY is the policy and community engagement manager at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island.

Alliance, antisemitism, tracker