The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) has been awarded a $125,000 “Communities Against Hate” grant by the Open Society Foundations, which “works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people,” according to an FHCCI statement.
FHCCI Executive Director Amy Nelson said the organization identified in the grant application some of its plans for the funding.
“One is the need for a database. Right now, there is no way, other than through the Southern Poverty Law Center or through reporting to police, for us to effectively track hate crimes and hate-based incidents. We want to develop that tool so people can see what’s happening in their community and within central Indiana … so we have better and stronger numbers, particularly when we’re advocating with legislators.”
Nelson said training will also be a focus.
“I certainly know I and my staff need more education about when that racist rant is occurring when you’re standing in line at the grocery store, how do you effectively step in to protect that individual who’s been targeted, and protect yourself. We envision having some trainers come in and do some classes in different areas about how we can better enable all of us to stand up and combat hate,” she said.
FHCCI will be hosting a focus group meeting on March 23 to learn more about what community members would like to see.
“We very much want the community to tell us, what are some things we should work on?”
For more information about the grant and FHCCI’s plans, visit fhcci.org/response-to-hate.