Racial and Ethnic Conflicts

A group protests against the Trayvon Martin case

What We Do: Help Communities Resolve Racial and Ethnic Conflicts

The Community Relations Service (CRS) was established under Title X of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to resolve "disputes, disagreements, or difficulties relating to discriminatory practices based on race, color, or national origin." The Act was passed during the civil rights movement in the United States, during the height of racial tension and civil disorder over racial discrimination. Knowing that these conflicts would likely increase when the Act was implemented and enforced, Congress created CRS as a conflict resolution agency tasked with resolving disputes, disagreements or difficulties over race-based community tensions and preventing them from culminating in violence. Almost 50 years later, CRS continues to work in this area. In 2011, more than half of the hate crimes reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program were committed on the basis of racial, ethnicity, or national origin bias. This statistic does not take into account unreported hate crimes, hate incidents, or general racial and ethnic community tensions.

The Role of CRS

The Community Relations Service is a conflict resolution agency that provides four services: mediation, facilitation, training, and consulting. CRS is the only federal agency dedicated to helping state and local governments, private and public organizations, and community groups prevent and resolve racial and ethnic tensions, civil disorder based on race, color, or national origin, and to address and prevent hate crimes. CRS supports the U.S. Department of Justice in some of its most important missions-providing assistance to state and local authorities in their efforts to prevent violence, resolve destructive conflicts, and promote public safety and ensuring that the rights of individuals are protected. CRS works with police chiefs, mayors, school administrators, other local and state authorities, community-based organizations, and civil and human rights groups to resolve disputes, disagreements, and difficulties relating to discriminatory practices and to prevent and address hate crimes.

Featured Cases

Updated October 24, 2014

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