Nonprofit organizations educate the community on responding to hate crimes

Organizations and elected officials joined the community Thursday to honor a Day Against Hate.
Volunteers of nonprofit organizations traveled across the five boroughs to inform the public on protecting themselves from hate crimes. The groups distributed literature in Yiddish, English, Spanish and Bangla in the neighborhoods of Kensington and Borough Park.
They also spoke with local businesses and residents about any concerns and how to take the right course of action in the wake of recent hate crimes. They say residents are likely to turn to police when these crimes occur, but they also want to teach residents how to be proactive community members.
"When things pop off in individual incidents, police get involved or things like that, we actually find that that doesn't actually help our communities move forward and come closer together, it puts us at odds with each other," says Nayim Islam, of Desis Rising up and Moving.
Grocery store owner and Kensington resident Rasheed Bismillah says he was a victim of a crime, and agrees that it's important to take measures beyond calling police.
"I think that our police officers don't always respond right away, so we need to unite in the community, get everybody together, and we need to be stronger about that," says Bismillah.
Volunteers are planning an event on Feb. 25 to train community members on what to do when these incidents occur.