SWC's Michael Cohen Testifies on Digital Hate at Critical NYC Council Hearing
May 22, 2020
Michael Cohen, SWC Eastern Director, testifying at today's NYC Council Finance Hearing, via teleconference
SWC's Eastern Director Michael Cohen testified today before the New York City Council's Committee on Finance on the importance of the Center's Digital Terrorism and Hate workshops in their first- ever virtual budget hearings.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center shared with the Council our serious concerns regarding the dramatic spike – since the pandemic – of online hate speech, particularly targeting the Jewish and Asian communities and the actions that SWC are actively taking to combat these dangers.
For three years the Simon Wiesenthal Center has been conducting workshops in high schools and junior high schools around the country helping our youth develop the skills necessary to recognize and properly deal with hate material that they are bombarded with.
With felony-level hate crimes rising to generational highs in NYC even prior to the pandemic, SWC is committed to expanding these programs in the New York City school system and work together with our partners in NYC government to most effectively combat hate from impacting our children.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center would like to thank NYC Council Finance Chair Daniel Dromm for convening this hearing and providing SWC the opportunity to present its concerns about the growth of hate speech during these unprecedented times of tragedy and crisis, and to NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson for watching our testimony and continuing to stand up against hate in New York City.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).