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Tips for youth dealing with incidents of bias & discrimination


What can YOU do?

Here are some tips for dealing with racism and bias in your community. Remember, these are suggestions and you should only take on what you are comfortable with. Your safety is most important.

#1 ABOVE ALL ELSE: ENSURE YOUR SAFETY

If you want to report a crime or fear for your safety, call 911 immediately.

If a situation becomes violent or if you think it might, call 911 immediately.

#2 BUILD A COMMUNITY OF SUPPORT

Who can you talk to? Who makes you feel safe?

Who are your allies? Who is supportive in your community? At school? At home? In Buffalo?

Think about those people in your life and look to them for support. Make a mental list and challenge yourself to consult your allies when you need them.

MAP Youth should ALWAYS feel comfortable talking with any of the MAP staff. Call, text, or email whomever you are most comfortable reaching out to. We are here for you.

#3 DOCUMENT & REPORT

If you experience an incident in public, either directed at you or someone else, the first thing you can do is look for another adult. Acknowledge that adult as a witness. Ask them for help.

If you are comfortable doing so, ask the perpetrator to stop. Say something like, "That is not appropriate, please stop it."

If you are comfortable doing so, position yourself between the perpetrator and the victim. Offer a distraction. Try talking about something else or introducing yourself as someone friendly.

Remember, if you fear for your safety, call 911 immediately.

Document what is going on. Who is around? What is happening? Where are you?

What can you do afterwards? Report the incident. Sharing what happened will help our allies understand what is happening in our community.

Your Buffalo City Councilmember is your ally. Contact your local representative with details regarding incidents in your district. An email only takes a few minutes to send. All councilmembers' contact info and a map showing who your rep is can be found here:

https://www.ci.buffalo.ny.us/home/leadership/commoncouncil

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has initiated a state-wide toll-free hotline where people can report incidents of bias and discrimination. New York upholds the responsibility to protect all who are here, whether native-born or immigrant, whether documented or not. The hotline strengthens New York State's efforts. Contacting the hotline will not affect your immigration status.

New Yorkers who have experienced bias or discrimination should call the toll-free
hotline at (888) 392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

The FBI investigates civil rights issues.

To file a color of law complaint, contact your local FBI office by telephone, in writing, or in person. The following information should be provided:
  • All identifying information for the victim(s);
  • As much identifying information as possible regarding the subject(s), including position, rank, and agency employed;
  • Date and time of incident;
  • Location of incident;
  • Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witness(es);
  • A complete chronology of events; and
  • Any report numbers and charges with respect to the incident.
The Buffalo FBI office is located at:

One FBI Plaza (behind City Hall)
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 856-7800

You may also contact the United States Attorney’s Office in your district or send a written complaint to:
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
Criminal Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest
Washington, DC 20530

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