CRS Appoints Harpreet Singh Mokha as National Program Manager for Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASSA) Communities
According to the 2015 Federal Bureau of Investigation Hate Crimes Statistics, the number of reported hate crimes has increased nationwide, with a significant increase in bias crimes based on religion. Crimes involving religion increased 23 percent to 1,244 in 2015. Muslim communities saw the largest increase from 154 incidents in 2014 to 257 in 2015. In an effort to improve the quality of data collected, the 2015 statistics introduced new categories including Anti-Arab, Anti-Hindu and Anti-Sikh bias motivation crimes. As a result of the increasing need to serve Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASSA) communities, CRS has appointed Harpreet Singh Mokha as the National Program Manager for MASSA Communities. As the agency’s Subject Matter Expert surrounding MASSA issues, Harpreet will become a valuable resource to both field operations and to community stakeholders.
For the last seven years, Harpreet has served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for CRS. In that role, he worked with law enforcement, federal, state and local government officials, community leaders, and federal agencies to provide support in addressing tensions surrounding differences in race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability. Harpreet has worked closely with law enforcement and community leaders to conduct trainings, design and facilitate dialogues, and identify opportunities to increase community engagement.
Harpreet joined CRS after serving as a civil rights attorney and the Legal Director of UNITED SIKHS in Washington, DC. As Legal Director, Harpreet was involved in numerous outreach initiatives, served to create cultural programs, and conducted educational seminars with federal, state, and local government agencies to increase awareness of issues faced by the Sikh American community. He has extensive experience in providing legal guidance and counseling on issues such as civil rights and liberties violations, post 9/11 backlash, airport profiling, employment discrimination, and immigration law. Harpreet also represented the interests of the Sikh community with respect to pending legislative matters in Congress and partnered with a coalition of civil rights organizations to influence legislation. As a result, Harpreet worked with members of Congress in co-drafting legislation that would help end racial and religious profiling and enhance civil rights and liberties.
Prior to joining UNITED SIKHS, Harpreet was in private practice where he represented clients in the areas of real estate, immigration, criminal, employment and labor, and civil rights law. Additionally, he provided guidance on avoidance of litigation by means of dispute resolution and mediation between disputing parties.
Harpreet earned his Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and Bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Human Resource Management from the University of Houston.
CRS Releases Law Enforcement Roll-Call Video for Effective Interactions with the Transgender Community
In August 2016, CRS launched it's Law Enforcement and the Transgender Community video. This brief roll-call training video features scenarios of three of the most common ways that law enforcement officers interact with members of the transgender community: traffic stop, hate crime assault report, and public restroom call. A law enforcement narrator provides additional tips on using relevant terminology and interviewing techniques, as well as strategies and resources for successful collaboration.
The video is designed as a stand-alone training tool to be viewed by law enforcement officers and officials during roll call, an informational briefing for oncoming officers before they begin their patrol shift.
CRS produced the video with the support of the National Center for Transgender Equality, PFLAG National, and the Prince George’s County Police Department in Maryland. A group of transgender advocates from across the country and law enforcement executives from departments who have developed and implemented model programs for engaging the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities also provided CRS with guidance and insight.