Community outreach is about building partnerships locally and nationally that help prevent crime and protect our diverse nation.
Read about the FBI’s latest outreach initiatives, notable outreach activities and successes by Bureau partners and personnel, advice for staying safe from emerging threats and scams, career opportunities, and more.
“We need the support, understanding, and trust of the public. And you are our bridges to them. You’re out in our neighborhoods. You see what’s happening in our communities every day. And you’re taking action to make things better.”
- FBI Director Christopher Wray
Students at Piney Grove Academy in Lauderhill, Florida, received new laptop computers after their principal expressed their needs at a recent FBI Citizens Academy hosted by FBI’s Miami Field Office.
Students at Piney Grove Academy in Lauderhill, Florida, were thrilled to come forward as their names were called out to receive brand new laptop computers during a recent school assembly. The laptops were procured via a connection made during an outreach event. Days earlier, Principal Alton Bolden was participating in a session of an FBI Citizens Academy hosted at the Miami Field Office when he mentioned that some of his students lacked the computers needed to complete virtual schoolwork.
Unknown to Principal Bolden, Mr. Al Eskanazy, a Citizens Academy board member, had recently acquired 20 laptops through non-profits and was actively seeking ways to get them into the hands of students in need. As a result of that evening’s fortuitous connection, Mr. Eskanazy donated the laptops to Principal Bolden and the school’s pastor, Dr. Derrick J. Hughes (a past recipient of the FBI’s Director’s Community Leadership Award). Principal Bolden and Pastor Hughes were overwhelmed by the unexpected generosity.
The FBI Community Outreach Program strives to maintain an open dialogue with members of the public, community organizations, and private sector entities to understand their unique concerns and offer information about the mission, activities, and values of the FBI. But as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, in-person community engagement had to be redefined.
During this time of social distancing, community outreach specialists in each of the FBI’s 56 field offices remained connected, whether by teleconference with organization leaders, video presentations for students, or virtual Citizens Academies.
This increase in remote engagement has offered some unexpected advantages. For example, virtual venues have allowed for larger attendance numbers at events previously limited by seating capacity. Some virtual Citizens Academy participants even noted that sessions feel more relaxed and personal, which was helpful as they shared ideas and voiced concerns about existing or emerging threats.
Meanwhile, the community outreach team at FBI Headquarters shifted focus to strengthening relationships with national community organizations in hopes of understanding and supporting their member bases. Despite this world health crisis, the FBI Community Outreach Program has continued to forge new partnerships by finding new and effective ways for engagement.
FBI Philadelphia participates in the Camden County Prosecutor’s office diaper drive.
Experience, leadership, integrity, teamwork, and dedication are all traits military personnel already possess. The FBI recognizes the values and service of these unique men and women and offers many opportunities for them to continue their careers and serve the nation.
FBI hiring managers view the Wounded Warrior Internship Program as a working interview opportunity to evaluate candidates for possible permanent employment. Internship opportunities may be available at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at field offices across the country.
Statute defines hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”
The FBI’s Civil Rights Program investigates allegations regarding violations of federal civil rights statutes to ensure the rights of all persons—citizens and non-citizens alike—are not violated within the U.S. territory. Hate crimes are the top priority within the Civil Rights Program due to the devastating impact these types of crimes have on communities.
Through training, public outreach, law enforcement support, and investigations, the FBI takes a multi-step approach to detect and deter potential hate crimes. Hate crime incidents are voluntarily reported by law enforcement agencies throughout the United States in the Uniform Crime Report as part of the Hate Crime Statistics Program.
During the past few years, the FBI has initiated an increasing number of hate crime investigations.
In fact, there was a 64% increase from FY 2019 to FY 2020. Hate crimes targeting victims of Asian descent increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to investigating an increased number of hate crimes, the FBI has prioritized communication with targeted groups, including Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. From March 2020 to March 2021, the FBI Civil Rights Program conducted more than 60 training and liaison events for AAPI groups to identify potential threats and encourage reporting of potential hate crimes.
The FBI has forged partnerships with local and national civil rights organizations to establish trust, share information, address concerns, and encourage timely reporting of suspected civil rights violations.
Sam Singh, senior policy and advocacy manger for the Sikh Coalition, recently provided an overview of the Sikh religion to more than 60 FBI community outreach specialists across the country. The Sikh Coalition is a civil rights organization that works on civil rights concerns facing the Sikh community, including hate crimes, school bullying, employment discrimination, racial profiling, and religious rights issues.
The presentation provided community outreach specialists with thorough guidance on cultural sensitivities, challenges, and ways to proactively build trust with the Sikh community. Building trusting partnerships with diverse communities is the guiding principle behind FBI’s Community Outreach Program.
Community groups are encouraged to bring issues of concern so that the FBI can better protect and serve all communities. The Sikh Coalition has been conducting presentations for law enforcement agencies across the country since 9/11 to help educate and create awareness for officers and investigators.
Sam Singh, senior policy and advocacy manger for the Sikh Coalition
FBI Little Rock provides civil rights training to local law enforcement.
FBI Little Rock reports a significant increase in tips and information regarding police interactions with the community, including questionable interactions calling for further investigation.
In response to this increase, FBI Little Rock’s Color of Law education team has provided instruction to more than 380 law enforcement employees, media reporters, educators, and religious and community group leaders at events focused on civil rights. Attendees, in turn, share what they learned with the organizations they lead and influence.
Did You Know?
The FBI is the lead federal agency for investigating color of law violations, which include acts carried out by government officials operating both within and beyond the limits of their lawful authority.
The FBI Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Internet Challenge is a free, educational program for children that teaches cyber safety and helps them become better digital citizens in a fun and engaging way.
The program, created for students in third through eighth grades, covers age-appropriate topics like cyberbullying, passwords, malware, social media, and more.
The SOS activities are open to anyone to explore. To participate in the testing and national competition, teachers must register their eligible classes.
Teachers: Each month during the school year, classes with the top exam scores nationwide receive an FBI-SOS certificate and may be congratulated in person by local FBI personnel. The 2021 challenge kicks off in September, but exercises are available now!
Parents: Parents and kids can use the SOS website at home at any time of year. There’s no registration required—just visit sos.fbi.gov and pick the appropriate grade level.