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CRS Presents Its FY 2019 Annual Report

FY 2019 Annual Report
Download the FY 2019 Annual Report here

The Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS) is pleased to present its Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report to Congress. The Annual Report highlights the agency’s work as “America’s Peacemaker” in communities across the country. The report includes spotlight articles on CRS’s services to faith communities following attacks and attempted attacks at places of worship; the history of the agency’s work with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning community; and examples of successful outcomes with communities across the country.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, communities across the country faced myriad challenges related to conflicts stemming from differences in race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. When not resolved, such conflicts can create community divisions that grow, erode public trust, and threaten the peace of America’s diverse cities and communities. CRS continued its work last year helping stakeholders address these problems peacefully, through strategies such as dialogue, problem solving, and improved local capacities.

“FY 2019 was a year of progress, as well as hope, as we supported many communities working diligently to strengthen connections between diverse groups and implement locally identified solutions to decrease tensions and respond to bias incidents and hate crimes,” said CRS Deputy Director Gerri Ratliff. “We look back on the year with a sense of accomplishment and look forward to continuing our vital work as ‘America’s Peacemaker’.”

CRS, with a staff of 16 conciliation specialists and five regional directors, provided services in FY 2019 to communities in 44 states and territories. These services included 268 facilitated dialogues, 23 training sessions, and 12 mediation sessions. The facilitated dialogues included nine Bias Incidents and Hate Crimes forums and 19 Protecting Places of Worship forums. CRS also provided more than 289 consultation sessions with community groups, local law enforcement, and local officials to share best practices and offer technical assistance to support their work to reduce tensions and prevent or respond to hate crimes.

A makeshift shrine for the victims of the October 2018 deadly shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Shutterstock/Brendt A Petersen

“Hate crimes remain a critical issue in the United States, and we are proud of our work to help communities gain the knowledge and readiness that enables them to prevent and respond to these incidents,” said Deputy Director Ratliff.

CRS was established by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which mandates that CRS provide assistance to communities to resolve "disputes, disagreements, or difficulties relating to discriminatory practices" perceived to be committed on the basis of race, color, or national origin, and expanded by the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, which mandates that CRS prevent and respond to community conflicts arising from actual or perceived “hate crime acts” including those committed on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, or national origin. The full text of the FY 2019 Annual Report is available here.

Updated April 6, 2023