FIE TIG Week: Evaluator Roles in Preventing Hate Crimes by Crystallee Crain

Hello! I’m Crystallee Crain, PhD. As hate crime incidents continue to rise, evaluators need context and training to equitably evaluate the public health concerns of survivors.

The brutality of hate crimes is severe and torturous. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we must use our skills to strengthen the ways we can protect ourselves and our families in the future from hate based violence.

There are a number of sources for data on hate based violence in the United States. According to the FBI Hate Crimes statistics indicate that in 2017 nearly 50% (48.6%) of hate crimes were motivated by their perpetrators anti-black or African American bias. The second highest was 17.1% were victims of anti-white bias, and 10.9 percent were victims of anti-Hispanic or Latinx bias.

The Legal Council on Health Justice (2019) reports that the long-term health impacts for survivors of hate crimes is much higher than survivors of other types of harmful violent experiences. They attribute this to the extent of the crimes and the long standing feelings of fear, helplessness, and severe post-traumatic stress disorder, let alone the physical healing time and effort.

They wrote,

“In 2017, 59.6 percent of hate crime survivors and victims were based on race, 20.6 percent were based on religion, and 15.8 percent were based on sexual orientation. In 2018, the LGBTQ community made up 4.5 percent of the U.S. population, but made up 16 percent of reported hate crimes. The Jewish community made up 2 percent of the population, but 11.5% of hate crimes. And the Black community made up 13.4 percent of the population and 28 percent of hate crimes. (Legal Council on Health Justice, 2019, para 4)

Oftentimes, the first people to engage with a survivor are health care and human service professionals. These people are rarely trained on the severity of hate crimes and many do not have a trauma informed lens on how to address violence based on racism, sexism, and homophobia. Even less so, are practitioners prepared to manage the anti-religiosity.

There needs to be a multi-faceted approach when addressing the grave public health concerns that plague the nation. We all witnessed the harrowing impact and the lives lost during the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

Questions we can ask ourselves: What is the role of the evaluator in policy and solution creation? What is the role of the evaluator in bending our society more towards justice? What is the role of the evaluator in preventing violence?

We need to determine key areas of practice and policy that are needed to strengthen interventions and prevention efforts. We also need to move towards an ideology of collective liberation

Bell hooks writes, 
“The ability to acknowledge blind spots can emerge only as we expand our concern about politics of domination and our capacity to care about the oppression and exploitation of others.”

In the 21st century there is no room to ask whether it is a crisis, we must not rest on the hope that someone or some institution will step up and handle it. We all must participate in alleviating the suffering.

I believe evaluators can play a unique role in making this happen.

The American Evaluation Association is hosting Feminist Issues in Evaluation (FIE) TIG Week with our colleagues in the FIE Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our FIE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

2 thoughts on “FIE TIG Week: Evaluator Roles in Preventing Hate Crimes by Crystallee Crain”

  1. Hello Dr. Crain,
    This subject is a sad and big part of our society. I had not thought about how evaluators could have an effect on the policies regarding hate crimes until now. People that suffer through hate crimes are hurt emotionally and physically, which also makes me wonder the effect that this has on their families mentally. It can put people close to them on edge to know their loved ones are in danger of not coming home at the end of the day because of another person’s ignorance and insensitivity. As knowledge progresses, I hope better policies and a safer environment can come in the future.

  2. Hello Dr. Craine,
    I must say that the area of hate crime must be a difficult subject to research. As someone who is really into true crime, I find cases that cover hate crimes a little harder to swallow. I appreciate you asking the questions that you have presented, I feel as though is very important to make sure that we bring all hand on deck when it comes to such crimes. I also commend you a bring awareness to this particular question, because it is something that I myself have never thought of before.

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