In a recent statement, U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri, FBI, Miami Field Office, highlight the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the role they play in our communities. HBCUs were established in the 1800s to provide educational opportunities for Black students who were previously excluded from attending existing colleges and universities. These institutions have become a symbol of pride, resilience, and unity, offering a unique academic and cultural experience. Lapointe and Veltri affirm their commitment to protecting the safety and security of HBCU students, visitors, and residents, urging the community to report any suspected hate crimes and offering their support in investigating and prosecuting these offenses. As they aptly state, “The Justice Department will never stop working to protect everyone in our country from unlawful acts of hate.”
Statement by U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri, FBI, Miami Field Office
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and the FBI’s Miami Field Office issue this joint statement to highlight the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in our communities. HBCUs provide a unique academic and cultural experience to their diverse student bodies, fostering pride, resilience, and unity. These institutions play a crucial role in strengthening our communities, and we are fortunate to have HBCUs right here in South Florida.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
HBCUs offer students a one-of-a-kind academic and cultural experience. These institutions have a rich history and have been at the forefront of providing education to Black students who were excluded and unwelcome at existing colleges and universities. HBCUs are known for their strong sense of community, and their students come from diverse backgrounds. The combination of academic excellence, cultural pride, and resilience creates a unique environment for students to thrive.
Importance of HBCUs
HBCUs not only provide educational opportunities for Black students, but they also play a vital role in strengthening communities. These institutions have a profound impact on the lives of their students, empowering them to achieve their goals and become leaders in their fields. HBCUs contribute to the social and economic development of their surrounding areas by providing access to higher education and promoting diversity and inclusion.
In South Florida, we are incredibly fortunate to have HBCUs that enrich our local communities. The presence of these institutions enhances the educational landscape and fosters a more diverse and inclusive environment for learning. The resources, knowledge, and talents that HBCUs bring to our region are invaluable and should be celebrated.
Purpose of HBCUs
The primary purpose of HBCUs is to address the historical exclusion and unwelcoming environments that Black students faced in higher education. These institutions were established in the 1800s to provide educational opportunities and promote the intellectual, social, and cultural development of Black students. HBCUs have a long-standing tradition of excellence and have produced notable alumni who have made significant contributions to various industries and society as a whole.
HBCUs not only offer academic programs but also focus on cultivating a supportive and empowering environment for their students. These institutions strive to provide a sense of belonging and identity for their students, fostering a strong community and promoting the values of diversity and equality.
Commitment to Safety
Ensuring the safety of HBCU students, visitors, and residents is of paramount importance to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and the FBI’s Miami Field Office. We recognize the need for safe environments for learning and are dedicated to protecting the well-being of all individuals within the HBCU community.
Our commitment to safety extends beyond the physical realm. We are also committed to addressing any form of discrimination or bias that may threaten the safety and security of HBCU students. Our offices are ready to investigate and prosecute criminal offenses motivated by bias, including racial, religious, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity biases. We take these offenses seriously and work diligently to ensure justice is served.
Investigation and Prosecution
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and the FBI’s Miami Field Office are fully prepared to investigate and prosecute allegations of criminal offenses against individuals or properties within the HBCU community. Our joint efforts aim to hold offenders accountable for their actions and ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all.
We are motivated by our commitment to protecting the rights and safety of all individuals, regardless of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity. Our collaboration allows us to leverage our respective resources and expertise to conduct thorough investigations and provide effective legal remedies for victims.
Protection Against Hate Crimes
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and the FBI want to assure the public that we are fully committed to protecting everyone in the country from unlawful acts of hate. Hate crimes have no place in our society, and we will vigorously enforce the laws that address these acts of violence and discrimination.
Hate crimes not only harm individuals but also impact entire communities by spreading fear and divisiveness. We will not tolerate such acts and will use all available resources to pursue justice for the victims. It is crucial that individuals who have been targeted or witnessed hate crimes come forward and report them to law enforcement.
Encouraging Community Reporting
Reporting hate crimes is vital in combating these appalling acts. We urge members of the community to report any suspected hate crimes to the FBI. If you have information regarding a potential hate crime or any other criminal offense, please contact the FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI (1-800-225-5324) or submit a report online at tips.fbi.gov.
By reporting hate crimes, community members play a crucial role in aiding law enforcement and ensuring the safety and well-being of all individuals. Your information can help us investigate these offenses thoroughly and bring those responsible to justice.
For further inquiries or information, please reach out to the Public Affairs Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. You can contact us via email at USAFLS.News@usdoj.gov or by phone at (305) 961-9001. Additionally, you can send us a fax at (305) 530-7679.
For more information on recent cases and initiatives relevant to the Southern District of Florida, please visit our website or explore our publications. Stay informed about our work in law enforcement and how we are dedicated to protecting the rights and safety of all individuals.
Southern District of Florida Office Information
If you need to visit our main office, we are located at 99 N.E. 4th Street, Miami, FL 33132. For any inquiries or communication, you can reach our office through email at USAO-SDFL. Feel free to contact us by phone at (305) 961-9001 or send us a fax at (305) 530-7679.
Our office is committed to serving the community and ensuring justice for all. We are here to address any concerns or questions you may have and work collaboratively to build safer and more inclusive environments.