President Donald Trump’s words and policies have emboldened the forces of hate across our country. Since he announced his candidacy, press reports of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, and violence have been ceaseless.

Hate has no place in our New York. If you have experienced an incident, you don’t need to accept it and you don’t need to remain quiet – You have options.

EQUALITY WATCH is a tool that connects New Yorkers who have witnessed or been the target of discrimination to agencies and organizations that can investigate and may be able to help.

Using information you input about your experience, the EQUALITY WATCH database gives you tailored contact and reporting information for New York public agencies required to address reports of bias acts or discrimination. EQUALITY WATCH also provides contact information for non-profit organizations and other groups that may be able to assist you or record your experience.

Equality Watch is a project of the New York Civil Liberties Union, made possible by the hard work and concern of a community of volunteers who spent countless hours developing this database to neutralize bigotry and make a more just and inclusive New York. The website was developed in partnership with 4Site Studios.

Equality Watch does not advocate any particular action on your part, and does not endorse any particular agency or organization



What qualifies as discrimination?

Unlawful discrimination occurs when someone treats you unfairly on the basis of legally-protected characteristics, such as your age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion and more. Discrimination can take the form of intimidation, bullying, harassment, violence, denials of service, and more, and it can take place in settings schools, prisons, jails, hospitals, the workplace, applying for housing, interactions with law enforcement and other government agencies and offices. Click here to learn about New York State’s Human Rights Law.


How can EQUALITY WATCH help?

If you have experienced or witnessed discrimination in various settings – such as schools, prisons, jails, hospitals, the subway, public parks, retail or commercial spaces, the workplace, applying for housing, at law enforcement or other government offices, and more – there are local and state agencies who can investigate what happened to you, and organizations who may be able to help.

Based on information you provide, EQUALITY WATCH offers you tailored contact and reporting information for those agencies and organizations who could help with your individual experience. We also offer to help you with your reporting process if needed.


Should I report my experience?

Only you can decide whether and where to report a bias act and whether to reveal your identity. Not every bias act reported will be appropriate for legal action. Contact with a government agency may lead to unintended inquiries, including about your immigration or parole status, as well as legal consequences for you or the person who is the subject of your report.

As you consider whether to report your experience, consider carefully that the designation of a “hate crime” may have profound and broad implications for whomever you accuse. People with criminal records may face increased penalties, disproportionately impacting people of color due to selective enforcement.


What about free speech?

Freedom of speech and freedom of association are protected by our U.S. and New York Constitutions.  Anyone has the right to express their thoughts or beliefs, no matter how offensive, bigoted, or hateful.  Although the line between speech and unlawful discrimination and hate crimes may appear to be blurred, anti- discrimination laws aim to punish discrimination (an act) that is motivated by the perceived identity of the person targeted for unfair or disadvantageous treatment.  Such laws do not punish bigotry (a belief).