FBI partners with local, national celebrities for national campaign against hate crimes


Conn. (WTNH) — Following the national trend, hate crimes have been on the rise in Connecticut. According to the FBI, the 2020 hate crime statistics represented the highest number of hate crimes since 2008.

In Connecticut, 41% of the reported hate crimes were against Black people. Asians were also targeted.

Now, the FBI has teamed up with some very recognizable names and faces in a national campaign against hate crimes.

Actor/director Michael Jain White, and former UConn Basketball star and current Head Coach at Southern Connecticut, Scott Burrell are among those taking part.

“People see me as an athlete, always involved in sports,” Burrell said. “I do have another side of me. Social justice, being a good person, and giving back to society is one thing I Iove doing.”

Also participating are Vin Baker, the former NBA All-Star from Old Saybrook who played at the University of Hartford, former Knicks star Allan Houston, and FBI Special Agent in charge David Sundberg.

Charles Grady is a Public Affairs Specialist for the FBI and was a key member putting the PSA together.

There’s a good reason why he used familiar faces. “People hear messages, and take in messages from different sources,” Grady explained. “And so, if you can identify a source for messaging that people relate to, or have some sort of connection to, it’s always the best way to go about it.

Again, people like Hamden native Burrell: “Doing that piece for the FBI, and trying to stop hate, and bringing awareness to hate is important to me because, obviously, I want my kids to grow up in a better world and have a better life.”

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