Community Responders Network

Who Are We?

The Community Responders Network is a grassroots coalition committed to confronting and preventing incidents of bias in Central PA.

The Community Responders Network was established in 2008 following an incident targeting a local Muslim family. A concerned group of individuals came together to stand with the family, and out of this the Community Responders Network was born.

Today, our membership represents a diverse group of faith communities, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, government entities and community members working together to further our mission.

What Do We Do?

Our work has a dual approach, focused on both responding to incidents AND working to prevent them.

Our Rapid Response Team develops and implements action plans in response to incidents of bias in Central PA. On-going projects include:

  • Response to Hate Groups: When hate groups are active in our area, the CRN makes strong public statements, contacts local leaders and provides resources and guidance for how communities should respond.
  • Response to Hate Crimes: When hate crimes are committed, the CRN makes strong public statements, provides resources to affected communities and offers support to the victim(s).
  • Response to Bias Incidents: When incidents of bias occur in our area, the CRN makes strong public statements, contacts appropriate authorities and provides resources and support.

Our Prevention Education Team develops and implements programs to address the root causes of bias through education. Current projects include:

  • Community Dialogues: Presenting scripted dialogues on race, religion and sexuality to stimulate conversation and break down stereotypes.
  • Conversations with our Neighbors: Creating opportunities for community members to come together and discuss important topics like Islam or race.
  • American Stories: Sharing diverse and compelling stories about what it means to be “American” with students in school settings.

In the News

"Love duels hate from a distance in Harrisburg," by David Wenner (PennLive), November 5, 2016.

"The one thing you can do to fight hate in Harrisburg this weekend: Editorial," by John Micek (PennLive), November 2, 2016.

"Protest? Yes. But don't dignify Saturday's Nazi rally at the Capitol by showing up," by Ann Van Dyke (PennLive), November 2, 2016.

"Community Responders Network promises to work with the LBGT and Muslim communities to make this a nation where everyone is safe, respected," by Ann Van Dyke (PennLive), June 15, 2016.

"So who really belongs in the U.S.A.? All of us," by Ann Van Dyke (PennLive), Oct. 6, 2015.

"Many Muslims are Americans, too, and how they are being treated is disturbing," by Margee Kooistra (PennLive), Oct. 2, 2015.

"Want to help the victims of the Charleston church shooting? Here's how," by Ann Van Dyke (PennLive), June 21, 2015.

"Cross burning a reminder that we owe each other compassion and respect," by Margee Kooistra (PennLive), Feb. 2, 2015.

"Community Responders Network urges strong response to midstate KKK activity," by Eric Veronikis (PennLive), May 7, 2014.

"Battling Bias: Community Responders Network offers support for victims of discrimination," by Barbara Trainin Blank (The Burg), March 31, 2014.


Check out our Response Form for information about how you can get involved! Contact us at or (717) 547-0011.

Want to Donate?

Checks can be made payable to the YWCA Greater Harrisburg with 'CRN' in the memo line, and mailed to 1101 Market St, Harrisburg PA 17103.

glqxz9283 sfy39587stf02 mnesdcuix8