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GCSW Professors Awarded Grant from Houston Coalition Against Hate


September 21, 2020

(HOUSTON, TX) - Clinical Professors Donna Amstberg and Aabha Brown and Assistant Professor Juan Barthelemy, were jointly awarded a grant totaling $115,000 from the Houston Coalition Against Hate

Officially titled "Phase 2: Organizational Response to Hate Crimes," the goals of the grant are as follows:

  • Identify best practices for responding to hate crimes.
  • Assess the current response capacity of identified community-based organizations.
  • Conduct an interactive training workshop with community-based organizations to discuss and build an organizational understanding of response capacity.
  • Provide a self-evaluation tool to assist organizations in monitoring progress in building efforts. 

Read more of what they hope to achieve. 


Congratulations on the $115k Houston Coalition Against Hate Grant! What will this grant allow you all to do that you wouldn't have been able to do before?

This grant provides the opportunity to expand our understanding of how community-based organizations can respond to hate crimes while also supporting victims of hate crimes. Based on that knowledge and research, we will design training to help build organizational response capacity to hate crimes in our local community.

One of Houston Coalition Against Hate's four initiatives is 'Research and Response.' What are some of the intended short term and long term goals of the research you all plan on conducting?

In the short term, this research will help us identify opportunities to build community-based organizations' capacity to respond to hate crimes. Our long term goal is that this research will inform a broader coalition strategy to create and mobilize an organized, community-based response to hate crimes.

What role does research play in developing resources and dialogue about how to prevent hate and discrimination?

Research is a powerful tool to facilitate understanding. Engaging with community members and understanding their perspectives is fundamental to understanding what change opportunities exist in our region. Seeking to understand a broad range of views is necessary to plan and facilitate a community dialogue about hate and discrimination.

HCAH have been long-time supporters of facilitating conversations between law enforcement and communities they serve. What role do you believe social workers play in this conversation?

Social workers stand at the intersection of social challenges and interpersonal responses to those challenges. Social workers have the unique ability to see both the systems that work around us and the people impacted within those systems. This unique viewpoint makes social workers a critical asset in facilitating challenging conversations, leading innovative training, and working to create systemic change. When systems fail, people suffer – this is where social workers can lead in reimagining and reshaping how systems can be intentionally inclusive, financially sustainable, and empowering.

In what ways does your intended research align with the GCSW's mission and vision?

Hate and hate crimes have been a reality in America, even before its founding. In many respects, the only resolution to hate is justice, the realization of which is central to our mission and vision at the GCSW. Our research aims to support this mission and continue pursuing justice by understanding and strengthening community-based organizations' capacity to respond to hate.