Photo Courtesy of the CCHR
The citywide campaign includes ads, public service announcement videos, and community events.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Commission on Human Rights recently launched a citywide anti-discrimination campaign “affirming New Yorkers’ right to live, work, and pray free from discrimination and harassment.”
The campaign, which, according to the administration, includes ads, public service announcement videos, and community events, follows a 60-percent increase in reports of discrimination to the CCHR in 2016, a trend that continues into 2017.
The ads feature six individuals standing up to scenarios of discrimination and harassment commonly experienced by vulnerable New Yorkers, including Jewish, Muslim, Hispanic, Asian, Black, and LGBTQ New Yorkers, and affirms their right to pray, speak, and live in New York City without discrimination or harassment. The ads also urge people to contact the commission at (718) 722-3131 to report discrimination.
“Every New Yorker has the right to be themselves without being discriminated against, no matter where they come from, what language they speak, who they love, or their religious faith,” said CCHR Chairwoman and Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis. “At a time when bias incidents are on the rise, this campaign sends a clear message to all New Yorkers that they do have the right to live free from discrimination and harassment and that NYC has your back. In this city, we are all New Yorkers. No one has permission to discriminate against you or your community. If they do, rest assured that the NYC Commission on Human Rights will hold them accountable.”
The campaign follows a significant increase in reports of discrimination and bias incidents in the city to the CCHR, as well as an increase in investigations resulting from those reports:
Reports of discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, and immigration status increased by 30 percent in 2016.
The commission is currently investigating 30-percent more complaints of discrimination than this time last year, with more than 1,600 current open cases of discrimination compared to 1,200 in May 2016.
More than 40 percent of all open cases at the CCHR (more than 700 cases) involve discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, and immigration status.
The commission has more than doubled the number of investigations into race, religion, national origin, and immigration status over the last two years, filing 823 complaints in those areas in 2016 and 2015 combined compared to 418 complaints in 2014 and 2013 combined.
“Incidents of bias and discrimination have been occurring with more frequency throughout New York City and across the country. This is not OK,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “Now, it is more important than ever for New Yorkers to stand together against discrimination in all its forms. If you see something, say something. If you witness an incident, call it out and report it to the commission. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, and Queens denounces any act of discrimination, whether microaggression or blatant.”
Over the next six weeks, the CCHR indicated that it will host a series of community events tied to the campaign to further educate the City’s diverse communities about their rights and how to file discrimination complaints with the commission. For a full list of events, including times and locations, visit nyc.gov/youhaverights.