NEW YORK (NEWS10) — In response to legislation signed last month, Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the launch of a statewide Hate and Bias Prevention Unit. The new unit will promote acceptance, inclusion, and tolerance and serve as an early warning detection system in local communities.

“Everyone – no matter what color they are, or who they love, or what they believe – should feel safe when they go to work, or go dancing, or visit a house of worship, or send their kids off to school,” said Maria L. Imperial, Commissioner of the Division of Human Rights. “This new unit will advance our mission of equal opportunity, access, and dignity for all in our state.”

The Division of Human Rights is organizing ten regional councils across the state that will provide community members to share their concerns, organize educational programming, host hate crime prevention and community healing events, conduct trainings in conflict resolution, and facilitate the filing of complaints with the Division. They will also serve as a rapid response team affected by a bias or hate incident.

“New York State will use every tool at its disposal to eliminate hate and bias from our communities,” said Governor Hochul. “We will not let the rise in hate incidents that we see happening online, across the country and across the world, take root here at home.”