Governor Wolf Joins Holocaust Remembrance, Highlights Work to Reduce Hate Crimes
Today, Governor Tom Wolf joined the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition and state and local leaders at the 38th Annual Civic Holocaust Memorial in Harrisburg. The ceremony included recognition of Holocaust survivors, as well as children and grandchildren of survivors.
“The Holocaust was a monstrous and horrific period in human history,” Governor Wolf said. “A huge evil perpetrated not by some extraordinary monster, but rather built on a foundation of prejudice, discrimination, hatred and bigotry that is all too human and all too familiar even these many decades later.
“In memory, we honor this heartbreaking and indescribable loss. And we remember that every day we all share the responsibility to guard against hate, to speak out against discrimination and to take action to end violence.
Pennsylvania and the country has seen an increase in hate crimes in recent years. According to data from the Pennsylvania State Police’s Uniform Crime Reporting System, hate crimes have increased exponentially in Pennsylvania over the past two years. From 2016 to 2019, Pennsylvania averaged 88 hate crimes per year. In 2020, hate crime incidents increased by 33% to 111. Last year alone in 2021, there was a shocking 97% increase to 219 crimes.
These increases in Pennsylvania are not an anomaly, states across the country are seeing the same increases. While these numbers and increases are alarming, it is important to note that hate crimes are also vastly underreported. At one point, the US Department of Justice estimated that almost two-thirds of hate crimes go unreported.
The Wolf administration is taking steps to fight bigotry and reduce hate crimes in Pennsylvania.
Governor Wolf has asked the Pennsylvania State Police and other members of the Wolf administration to join the efforts of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Anti-Defamation League to track and combat crimes hateful.
Additionally, the Wolf administration awarded more than $9 million in nonprofit security grants in 2022. Earlier this month, Governor Wolf announced $5.23 million in awards to 120 churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other nonprofit organizations that serve diverse communities and often face bias and hate crimes, to improve the safety of their facilities and protect against hate crimes.
The Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program, administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), was created to provide grants to nonprofit organizations that primarily serve individuals, groups or institutions that are included in a bias motivation category for one-party hate crime incidents. as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics publication. Categories include race/ethnicity/ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity.
In January, Governor Wolf announced that an additional $4.5 million had been allocated to the program from Pennsylvania’s American Rescue Plan Act dollars.
PCCD has released two previous nonprofit Security Grant Program solicitations in 2020 and 2021. A total of $5 million in funding has been awarded to each cohort for a total of 243 announced awards. Collectively, these funds have helped more than one million people associated with these organizations.
“Hate has no place in Pennsylvania. But to truly root out bigotry, we need every Pennsylvanian in the Commonwealth to take a stand,” Governor Wolf said. “We need to remember the horrors of the past — but more than this, we must act to build peace today. By working together every day to reject bigotry and promote peace and acceptance, we can stop hate in its tracks and build a better future for our community and our world. .