White House officials announced Thursday the formation of a high-level task force to address hate violence nationwide, including violence aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern communities. The inter-agency task force is expected to include key components from a hate violence task force model developed by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), in collaboration with a host of South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Arab organizations. The task force will build upon and bolster the impact of the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, enacted five years ago.
“Unfortunately, our communities continue to face unacceptably high levels of violence and harassment nationwide, as SAALT documented in its recent report, Under Suspicion, Under Attack. Today’s announcement is a key step toward developing critical infrastructure and a greater understanding within South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern communities to anticipate, prevent, and respond to hate violence.”
Organization officials say they look forward to working with partners in the federal government and its many agencies to fully address hate violence targeting our communities nationwide.