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Michigan Department of Civil Rights unveils new hate crime PSA

MI Response to Hate Decal
Michigan Department of Civil Rights
MI Response to Hate Decal

A new PSA from the Michigan Department of Civil Rights is trying to raise awareness about hate crimes and bias incidents.

The minute-long video highlights various facts about hate crimes, encouraging people to speak out and take advantage of department resources.

Tiara Yakini is a community engagement specialist with MDCR.

She said the PSA can help empower those who face discrimination.

“Victims are often unaware, unfortunately, of what a hate crime even is, how it’s classified, what a bias incident is, or where they can go for resources. And so, it is really our goal to send a message that there is zero tolerance for hate and bias in the State of Michigan,” Yakini said.

The Department of Civil Rights is using the PSA to highlight its MI Response to Hate campaign.

That’s a series of webinars on topics like removing hate and bias in law enforcement or schools. There’s also an annual conference scheduled for September 14.

Anthony Lewis is the Director of Community Engagement and Education with the Department of Civil Rights.

He echoed Yakini's comments, saying the PSA serves to raise awareness about those tools the department has to offer.

“Sometimes I think there are folks that don’t even know that the Michigan Department of Civil Rights exists, let alone proper reporting. And I think that that’s why we pride ourselves on partnering with our law enforcement partners, with the Attorney General and U.S. Attorneys also … to provide that awareness,” Lewis said.

The department plans to make the PSA video available to TV stations, with an audio-only version available for radio use.

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Colin Jackson is the Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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