Little Rock, Arkansas, March 30, 2021 — The Urban League of the State of Arkansas (ULSA) alongside its partners in advocacy today announced the formation of a new campaign “AR United Against Hate” which will work toward the passage of hate crime legislation during Arkansas’ 93rd General Assembly.

ULSA’s initiative for Hate Crimes legislation in Arkansas will be announced, Thursday, April 1, 2021, at 11:30 am on the Steps of the Arkansas State Capitol located at 500 Woodlane St, Little Rock, AR 72201 alongside its partners in advocacy: Arkansas United, Asian American Pacific Islander Caucus, Citizen First Congress, JustTalk, Second Baptist Church (Social Action Ministry), Arkansas Black Mayors Association, Little Rock Branch of the NAACP, Stonewall Caucus, and the Arkansas Black Caucus. In attendance at this event will be State Representative(s) Vivian Flowers and Fred Love, and Hot Springs City Director Erin Holliday.

“The recent hate-based attack in Hot Springs, Arkansas by a Bentonville fire captain is a wake-up call that the time to bring hate crimes legislation to Arkansas is now. Arkansas needs enhanced hate crime legislation that protects all Arkansans, not some.” Said ULSA President, Scott Hamilton

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), one hate crime occurs on average every 90 minutes in the United States. Despite this, Arkansas is one of three remaining states that does not have hate crime legislation. 

The Urban League of the State of Arkansas and its partners have long been at the forefront of efforts in Arkansas to deter and counteract hate crimes. Today, thanks in large part to the vocal support from Governor Asa Hutchinson and the commitment of members of the Arkansas General Assembly, Arkansas is one step closer to addressing Hate Crimes in our State and one step closer to making love not hate the reality of our state. 

The #ARUnitedAgainstHate campaign seeks to accomplish the following key goals: 1) Stronger Laws – Enact enhanced hate crimes legislation in Arkansas that protects all classes of people.  2) Better Training –Enhance training for law enforcement personnel on hate crime identification, response, and reporting in Arkansas. 3) Improve Data Collection –Improve law enforcement data collection and reporting. Requiring certain cities of certain classes to report hate crime data or affirmatively report zero (0) hate crimes to both the Arkansas Department of Public Safety and the  Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 4) Increase Community Awareness and Reporting – Educate communities on the effectiveness of responding to hate violence that builds trust and advances police-community relations. 

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