GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Department of Civil Rights released a new public service announcement Wednesday bringing awareness to hate crimes.
The department has partnered with the Michigan Alliance Against Hate Crimes for the MI Response to Hate campaign.
Grand Rapids was used as a filming location for the PSA. Several businesses in the area have a sticker in their window showing support for the effort.
“We wanted to go to businesses that have demonstrated support for diverse backgrounds,” Kimberly Williams, the conference chair for the campaign said. “We were at Bing Goei’s facility, we also visited Yesterdog in Eastown, and Samaria J’s salon.”
A 2021 report from the FBI shows 7,262 hate crime incidents were reported across the country. The report says nearly 65% of single-bias incidents involved race or ethnicity, almost 16% involved sexual orientation, and about 13% were reported on the basis of religion.
Grand Rapids businessman Bing Goei is one of the local leaders featured in the campaign.
“As a nation, and we as institutions should do everything in our power to ensure that those things do not happen in our communities and our neighborhoods,” Goei said.
He is hopeful the campaign will encourage more people to come forward and the community to rally around them in support.
“We must educate ourselves and we must stop these kinds of violent behaviors against people who are different than us,” Goei said.
To learn how to file a report of a hate crime of bias incident, visit the Michigan Department of Civil Rights website.