21 & Change Partners with Florida Hate Crime Coalition

 In National, State & Local

TAMPA, Fla. (April 22, 2019) — 21 & Change, Inc. President John Bodor announced today the organization’s board of directors unanimously approved a partnership and membership with the Florida Hate Crime Coalition (FHCC) spearheaded by Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Florida.

“It’s unfortunate that hate exists and continues to be taught; however, we feel that partnering with the FHCC and ADL Florida, we can stand together with their rapidly growing membership and share with all Floridians how understanding brings acceptance, and acceptance leads to true inclusion and human rights for all,” Bodor said.

21 & Change was founded in 2018 by Bodor and his wife Yani. The two Army veterans have three children; one with Down syndrome and another with Autism. The non-profit was created to challenge the status quo and to end the Down syndrome ‘syndrome’ through advocacy, support, and niche services in the Greater Tampa Bay area and beyond.

“The Florida Hate Crime Coalition welcomes 21 & Change as its 159th member,” said Sheri Zvi, ADL Florida Regional Director.  “Although limited progress was made on this year’s hate crime bill, the Coalition is resolute in its goal of securing passage of critical amendments to Florida’s hate crime laws.  Moving forward, 21 & Change’s expertise will help empower the Coalition to educate legislators on the need to expand the laws’ exceedingly narrow protections for persons with disabilities, one of five the amendments for which the Coalition is advocating,” said Zvi.

The FHCC, now 174 members strong, was founded by ADL Florida. It is composed of law enforcement agencies, public officials, religious and civil rights organizations, and other not-for-profit groups that represent thousands of Floridians.

FHCC is currently advocating to secure amendments to Florida’s hate crime statutes that would make these laws comprehensive by covering crimes committed because of gender, gender identity, and physical disability, as well “association with” and “mixed motive” hate crimes. The amendments also would remove the laws’ undefined “incapacitation” requirement, which limits coverage for crimes committed because of mental disability.

ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is a global leader in exposing extremism and delivering anti-bias education and is a leading organization in training law enforcement. ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

To learn more about FHCC, please visit https://florida.adl.org/hate-crimes/faq-hate-crimes-and-florida-legislation/and to see the full list of FHCC members, please visit https://florida.adl.org/hate-crimes/members-of-the-florida-hate-crime-coalition/.

 To learn more about 21 & Change, please visit www.21andchange.org.

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