ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Wes Moore this week announced $1 million in additional emergency state funding for hate crime prevention grants. Local organizations that serve protected classes and religious institutions are eligible for funding to hire security personnel for their facilities and membership through a new grant from the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—in Maryland we do not, and we will never, tolerate hatred. Not toward Muslims. Not toward Jews. Not toward Christians. Not toward anyone,” said Gov. Moore. “Safety is my number one priority as governor and my administration remains steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that all Marylanders feel safe in their homes and in their communities.”
With the new emergency infusion of funds, eligible organizations may seek up to $40K in competitive grant funding through the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services to protect themselves against hate crimes. The agency currently administers Maryland’s Protection Against Hate Crimes grant, which provides funding for support and security enhancements for eligible non-profits and faith-based organizations annually. The Moore-Miller Administration provided $5 million in Protection Against Hate Crime funding during the 2024 fiscal year.
“To the faith communities across the state who feel increasingly concerned for their safety, Governor Moore and I see you, we hear you, and we will always fight for the safety of all Marylanders,” said Lt. Gov. Miller. “We are committed to rooting out violence and hate, including by providing faith-based and nonprofit institutions with the resources they need to ensure the safety of their members and congregations.”
The infusion of resources comes amid the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, which has spurred a dramatic increase in hate crimes and hate incidents against both Jewish and Muslim communities in the United States. The Anti-Defamation League recorded a 316% year-over-year increase in antisemitic incidents between October 7 and November 7. During a similar time period, the Council on American-Islamic Relations saw an “unprecedented” 216% spike in requests for help and reports of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bias incidents.
“The governor’s office has been in touch with communities that are very concerned about their ability to protect themselves from incidents of hate,” said Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services Executive Director Dorothy Lennig. “We want everyone in our faith-based and non-profit communities to know that they do not have to wait until the start of a new grant funding cycle to get at-risk communities the resources they need.”
The new funding supports a series of initiatives to prevent hate crimes, including $6.3 million to protect against hate crimes and to enhance local police recruitment and retention efforts through the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services. The Moore-Miller Administration also previously announced a record-breaking $15.9 million for 118 faith-based and nonprofit organizations to protect against hate crimes through the United States Department of Homeland Security 2023 Nonprofit Security Grant Program.
“The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives is committed to doing all we can to denounce religious intolerance,” said Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives Interfaith Outreach Director Dr. Lora Hargrove. “We uplift the power of our collective humanity through dedicated community outreach and support and will continue to work tirelessly with our partners in the community.”
Organizations interested in applying for the Emergency Assistance to Secure Against Hate Crimes grant funding may do so at https://www.goccp.maryland.gov/grants. Funding will open Tuesday November 28 and will close on January 10, 2024.
Photo via Governor Wes Moore