Bias Incident Response Team
Napa Valley College is a campus community committed to being inclusive and welcoming of all people. We strive to provide a safe place for everyone to work and learn. We are a college that welcomes all ideas and we are place where people can be who they are. The students and staff at Napa Valley College appreciate the diversity of humanity and reject prejudice, discrimination, and acts of hate.
The purpose of the Napa Valley College Bias Incident Response Team is to support and assist with a campus response to a bias incident or hate crime and to support the college’s commitment to provide a “hate free zone.” It acts to prevent bias incidents and hate crimes by constantly assessing the climate of the campus community and by recommending educational programs that create awareness and that combat intolerance.
The Bias Incident Response Team is an independent group of campus community members who have received specialized training in the prevention of and response to bias incidents and hate crimes. This team is accountable to the college president and campus police chief.
The Bias Incident Response Team Is Responsible For:
Continuously monitoring the campus climate related to bias incidents and hate crimes and reporting potential threats.
Advocating for bias incident and hate crime prevention by assisting ASB, the Inclusivity Committee, and other campus groups with recommending educational programs related to current events in the world, regional community, and campus community.
Educating the campus community on how to prevent bias incidents and hate crimes and on the procedures for reporting such incidents.
Identifying and recommending partnerships with campus and regional community individuals, groups, and organizations involved in supporting victims and in preventing bias incidents and hate crimes.
Developing and recommending response protocols for bias incidents and hate crimes that occur on campus.
Advocating for victims of bias incident and hate crimes by supporting individual victims, identity groups, and anyone on campus affected by a bias incident or hate crime.
Advising the college president and campus police chief on appropriate and effective post incident responses to bias incidents and hate crimes related to creating raising awareness, education, and outreach beyond the boundaries of the campus community.
Assisting with the collection and timely distribution of information related to bias incidents and hate crimes that occur on campus.
You can send an email directly to the Bias Incident Response Team to report an event, ask a question, or request advice. BIRT@napavalley.edu
Bias Incident Response Team members are committed to being available for students who need a safe place to go to talk, get information, or to make a report. The following is a list of team members and how to contact them. Some members have campus web pages available using the menu on the left side of this page.
Jennifer King - Faculty Member, 256-7503
Greg Miraglia - ADMJ Coordinator, 256-7710
Damien Sandoval - Director CJTC, 256-7705
Nadine Wade-Gravett - Faculty member, 256-7654
Amber Wade - Chief of Police, 256-7777
What Is A Hate Crime
A hate crime is an act of vandalism or violence motivated by hatred based on gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or disability that is prohibited by the California Penal Code. There are many crimes that carry more severe punishments if the motivation for that crime is proven to be hate.
A bias or hate motivated incident may not be a crime, but could include hate-speech or words targeted for a person based on a perception that the individual belongs to a particular gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
Who Are The Victims
Anyone could become a victim of a hate crime for often something the individual has no control over. Gender, race and often a disability are visible indicators of one's affiliation with a particular group. However, these physical attributes are often misperceived or assumed. Religious affiliations and sexual orientation are rarely identified by physical appearances. Victims are often assumed to be members of a particular group.
When a hate crime does occur, every member of the race, religion, sexual orientation, or disability group involved becomes a victim. In fact, hate crimes have often victimized entire communities.
Victims of hate crimes rarely do anything to provoke an attack. They are selected simply because of who they are perceived to be.
What Are The Crimes
- Murder motivated by hate based on gender, race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation is a "special circumstances" crime eligible for punishment including death or life in prison without parole.
- Use of force, threats, or destruction of property that interferes with another's exercise of civil rights is a misdemeanor.
- Committing a crime with the intent of interfering with another's exercise of civil rights is a felony.
- Violation of a civil order protecting the exercise of civil rights is a misdemeanor.
Committing a felony motivated based on the victim's race, color, religion, nationality, country of origin, ancestry, disability, or sexual orientation is eligible for an enhanced prison sentence.
- Vandalism of a place of worship is a felony.
- Committing acts of terrorism, such as burning a cross, on private property is a misdemeanor.
- Committing acts of religious terrorism is a felony.
- Use of explosives in an act of terrorism in special places, such as churches, health facilities, etc., is a felony.
- Absent a threat of violence, speech alone does not constitute a hate crime.
Why Report A Hate Crime
It is difficult to hold law enforcement accountable for crimes that occur in any community unless they are reported. There is no way of knowing that a problem exists unless it is identified and reported. Law enforcement officers in California are specially trained in how identify and investigate hate crimes. They understand how vulnerable victims of these crimes may feel and have the knowledge and skills necessary to help victims recover.
An even more important reason to report every hate crime is so that those responsible may be caught, prosecuted, and prevented from victimizing others. Hate crimes victims who do not come forward put other people at risk.
How To Report A Hate Crime
If you witness a crime in progress, call 9-1-1. Be sure to tell the dispatcher exactly where you are and describe what is happening. If you are reporting something that is not an emergency or that happened some time ago, call the non-emergency telephone number for the police or sheriff's department.
If you are the victim of a hate crime and do not want to be alone when you make a police report, you can have someone with you - a close friend, family member, or anyone who you feel comfortable with.
You may be eligible for financial assistance for your medical expenses and for counseling.
- Emergency Response To Any Location - 9-1-1
- American Canyon Police Department - 648-0171
- Calistoga Police Department - 942-2810
- Napa County Sheriff's Department - 253-4451
- Napa Police Department - 253-9223
- Napa Valley College Police Department - 253-3333
- St. Helena Police Department - 967-2850
- Yountville Police Department - 253-4451
- Napa County District Attorney - 253-4211
How To Prevent Hate Crimes
People are not born to hate. Hate is a learned behavior that begins early in life as children watch their parents and relatives as well as their peers on the play ground. Hate is a product of ignorance and is fueled by fear and anger. Hate can be "unlearned" through education and awareness.
Modeling tolerance is an important form of personal leadership than can help change attitudes one person at a time. Be sensitive to jokes and remarks that demonstrate intolerance. Avoid using slang terms or other disparaging words. Set a positive example, and others will follow. Remember... hate-speech is often at the root of hate violence.
"You must be the change that you want to see in the World." -Ghandi
Every Year more than half a million college students are targets of bias-driven slurs or physical assaults.
Every Day at least one hate crime occurs on a college campus.
Every Minute a college student somewhere sees or hears racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise biased words or images.
What is a hate crime?
A hate crime is any act prohibited by law that is motivated because of the victim's actual or perceived race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.
What is a bias incident?
A bias incident is a lawful act motivated because of a person's actual or perceived race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. In other words, the act itself is not illegal, but it is "hateful" toward a particular identity group. For example, use of a racial slur or derrogatory word directed at a person could be a bias incident. Most words, including racial and ethnic slurs, are consider "protected speech" under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. All hate crimes are considered bias incidents, but not all bias incidents are considered hate crimes.
What are the indicators of a hate crime or bias incident?
- Is the motivation of the alleged offender known?
- Was the incident known to have been motivated by racial, religious, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender, or disability bias?
- Is there no clear other motivation for the incident?
- Were any racial, religious, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender, or disability bias remarks made by the offender?
- Were there any offensive symbols, words, or acts which are known to represent a hate group or other evidence of bias against the victim's group?
- Did the incident occur on a holiday or other day of significance to the victim's group?
- What do the demographics of the area tell you about the incident?
Should I report bias incidents to the campus police?
Yes. It's extremely important that all bias incidents and hate crimes be reported to the Campus Police as soon as possible. Often, an incident involving use of a racial slur escalates to a hate crime later on. Unless Campus Police are made aware of an incident, there is little they can do to prevent future events.
Why does Napa Valley College need a Bias Incident Response Team?
Bias Incident Response Teams are common on college campuses that are committed to providing students and staff with a safe place to work and learn - "a hate free zone." Napa Valley College believes so much in providing a safe place to learn that it has formed a group of specially trained members to be ready when incidents occur. The team has a role in helping prevent such incidents by providing education and awareness.
Can I report a bias incident or hate crime to a team member instead of the police?
No. Campus Police Officers are the only individuals authorized to take official reports of bias incidents and hate crimes that occur on the Napa Valley College Campus. However, anyone can contact a member of the Bias Incident Response Team and ask for assistance in making a report to Campus Police. A team member will accompany the victim(s) and provide support throughout the process.
Who do I report a bias incident to that occurred off campus?
Local police departments and sheriff's departments throughout California have all received training in the taking of bias incident and hate crime reports. Incidents need to be reported to the law enforcement agency responsible for the location where the incident occurred. Students and staff can get assistance in making a report to another agency by contacting Campus Police or a member of the Bias Incident Response Team.
How can I find out if Napa Valley College is a safe place for me to go to school?
Napa Valley College is a very safe place to go to school. The College has been aggressive in creating a "hate free zone." There are student clubs based on ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. Napa Valley College Campus Police also publish a report containing information about reported hate crimes.
Does the Bias Incident Response Team provide training or presentations?
Yes. All team members are trained and can provide presentations to classes, student clubs, or work units on a variety of topics related to hate crimes and bias incidents. Contact a team member for more details or to discuss a particular area of interest.
How often does the Bias Incident Response Team meet?
The Bias Incident Response Team is not a standing college committee and does not meet regularly. Typically, the team will meet once a semester to assess the campus climate.
What can I do to prevent a hate crime or bias incident?
Everyone has the ability to do their part to prevent bias incidents and hate crimes. Creating a "hate free zone" starts with you. For a list of ideas of how you can contribute to making Napa Valley College a safe place for everyone, look at "10 Ways to Fight Hate On Campus" using the link on the left side of this page.
One of the roles of the Bias Incident Response Team is to provide education and awareness for the campus about hate crimes and bias incidents with the goal of preventing such incidents from happening. Each team member has been trained to present the courses listed on this page. These presentations are available for classes, club meetings, and staff meetings.
Have idea for a program not listed here? Use the link on this page to submit your ideas and needs for a specialized presentation. If the needs are within the role and expertise of the Bias Incident Response Team, we will be happy to help.
Training Programs Currently Available
The following programs are available for presentations between 1.5 and 3 hours.
Understanding Hate Crime Issues - This presentation includes an explanation of the differences between a "bias incident" and a "hate crime" as well as an explanation of current hate crime laws in California. Participants will apply what they have learned in a series of brief scenarios.
Identifying And Reporting Hate Crimes - We will discuss how to identify bias incidents and hate crimes by applying a series of bias indicators to scenarios. We will explain campus procedures and protocols for reporting bias incidents and hate crimes.
The Attraction Of Hate - In this presentation, we will discuss how people "learn to hate" and what motivates a hate crime offender. We will examine examples of formalized hate groups in California and within the local area.
Journey - This is a more general program that incorporates a showing of the documentary, "Journey to a Hate Free Millennium" and includes a discussion of three major hate crimes in the United States (the murder of James Byrd Jr., Matthew Shepard, and the members of Columbine High School).
Interested In Scheduling A Presentation?
Please email BIRT@napavalley.edu and describe the training program you are interested in having. Please provide potential dates and times for the presentation.