Photo Courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
“Hate is a virus, fueled by the failure to see our common bonds, but we are going to do something revolutionary to eradicate this hate: Break bread and talk to each other,” said Mayor Adams.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday announced the launch of “Breaking Bread, Building Bonds” (B4), a citywide initiative to combat the rise in hate crimes in many communities across the city, and foster mutual understanding between New York’s diverse neighborhoods. The program, which builds on an initiative that was launched when Mayor Adams served as Brooklyn borough president, aims to organize 1,000 meals citywide with a group of 10-12 diverse New Yorkers at each meal.
Organized in partnership with The People’s Supper (TPS), UJA-Federation of New York, and several community-based organizations, ‘Breaking Bread, Building Bonds’ will empower everyday New Yorkers to host dinners and break down silos between communities. Working with the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Hate Crimes (OPHC), alongside the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (CAU), and Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnership (OFCP), TPS will coordinate large-scale trainings, provide support and coaching to dinner hosts, and develop a toolkit and resource guide, and assist with matching participants to hosts. UJA-Federation of New York will provide reimbursements of up to $150 for those who host dinners of 10-12 people.
“Hate is a virus, fueled by the failure to see our common bonds, but we are going to do something revolutionary to eradicate this hate: Break bread and talk to each other,” said Adams.” This year, we are going to organize 1,000 meals and conversations across the city, bringing everyday New Yorkers from different backgrounds together to listen and learn from each other. No matter where we are from, who we love, what religion we worship, or what language we speak, we are all bound together by one thing: We are all New Yorkers, and together, we are going to defeat the pipeline of hate.”
In January 2020, then-Brooklyn Borough President Adams and U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn and Queens) announced the creation of the ‘Breaking Bread, Building Bonds’ initiative, following a significant rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes. The inaugural dinner of the initiative was held later that month in Jackson Heights, and took place during Peace Week, which features a series of events throughout the city dedicated to promoting peace and unity across cultures. The initiative was put on hold due to the disruption of in-person gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We fight racism and prejudice through opportunities like this to listen and learn from one another, and there is no better way to do that than by sharing a meal,” said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III. “This program invites New Yorkers to challenge their biases by stepping out of their comfort zones and echo chambers and stepping into someone else’s shoes.”
“This administration continues to commit itself to pursue holistic and effective ways to combat hate crime, bias, and discrimination,” said Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Director Deanna Logan. “New York is one of the world’s most diverse cities. This initiative will continue to bring together the mosaic of New Yorkers to harness the talents, expertise, and diversity that cultivates communities and builds solidarity.”
Those interested in hosting a dinner or learning more about the initiative can visit nyc.gov/breakingbread.