Today marks the somber one-year anniversary of the tragic spa shootings near my current hometown of Atlanta, Georgia that claimed the lives of eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent. We honor the lives of these individuals and send our thoughts and support to their families and loved ones.
Domestic violent extremists, including those motivated by racial or ethnic beliefs and anti-government or anti-authority grievances, remain one of the most significant terrorist threats to the United States.
DHS recognizes that the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community continues to face increased incidents of targeted violence. This violence is unacceptable and un-American.
DHS stands alongside our country’s resilient AANHPI community in combatting all forms of racism, misogyny, hatred, discrimination, and harassment. We denounce the dangerous racial slurs and denigrating stereotypes that provoke and stoke acts of hatred. DHS is committed to combatting violence resulting from the mis- and disinformation that perpetuates false narratives and conspiracy theories, including those about the AANHPI community, such as the false scapegoating of AANHPI persons for COVID-19. This rhetoric and these attitudes must change. We each have a responsibility to speak up and speak out when we witness harassment and discrimination. Silence is not an option.
The Department has a number of resources aimed at combatting threats of targeted violence and terrorism.
- The DHS Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) supports communities across the United States with tools and resources designed to prevent radicalization to violence. CP3’s Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program provides funding for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; nonprofits; and institutions of higher education to develop capabilities to prevent targeted violence and terrorism and local communities. Information on the FY2022 TVTP Grant Program is now available along with resources that can help familiarize applicants with the program and application steps.
- DHS recognizes that communities are the first line of defense in keeping the public safe and secure. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) Hometown Security Program provides access to tools and resources to support community security and resiliency. CISA also provides resources in a variety of languages to assist organizations and communities in preparing for and responding to active shooter incidents.
- The DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) convenes national calls in response to incidents of targeted violence to bring together community organizations, law enforcement, and government officials to provide timely information about the incident and share federal resources to help communities prepare and respond to violent incidents.
- DHS convened the first-ever Equity Task Force in response to the Biden Administration’s call to advance racial equity and support for underserved communities throughout the Federal Government through Executive Order 13985. The DHS Equity Task Force is reviewing key programs across the Department with the greatest potential to advance equity by eliminating and reducing barriers to accessing DHS’s programs and services. The Task Force has also outlined ways to increase targeted outreach to diverse communities, including the AANHPI community, through continued dialogue with DHS leaders about combatting domestic violent extremism and targeted violence in communities across the country.
These are just a few examples of how DHS is working to keep our communities safe. The Department’s mission is to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values. We are committed to building partnerships across all levels of government and community organizations to better protect communities and share important resources to prevent targeted violence and terrorism. On this solemn anniversary, we recommit to partnering with you in this continued, and most critically important, pursuit.