The County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, the L.A. County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS), and the Commission on Human Relations jointly announced Thursday the launch of the “L.A. vs Hate” initiative to report and end incidents of hate and hate crimes in L.A. County.
This announcement comes as 211-LA continues to receive reports of hate – from January through July 2020, 256 total calls reporting hate, including 27 calls as a result of COVID-19 – and is part of a multi-year mission by the Board of Supervisors to end acts of hate in the County.
For more information on the “L.A. vs Hate” initiative, including shareable community-centric graphics ready-made for social media, please click [here].
“Los Angeles County stands united as a voice for victims of crime,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger said. “It’s our duty and privilege to join in this effort to encourage acceptance and advocate for victims. When our communities speak up for their neighbors, we are all stronger.”
“In Los Angeles County, there is no place for hate. Now more than ever, we must all work together to combat the pandemic and take care of one another. The alarming spike in hate incidents in our County, particularly aimed at our Asian Pacific Islander communities and communities of color, requires a robust and creative response. That’s why I am proud of the L.A. vs Hate campaign’s innovation for partnering with local artists and organizations like Las Fotos Project to perform art interventions and produce marketing materials which aim to combat hate,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis.
“The L.A. vs Hate initiative is just one of the many strategies the County has embarked upon to dismantle racism and bias in our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and community gathering places,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “This work preceded recently elevated demands for racial justice and aligns with the County’s current efforts to establish an antiracist policy agenda. The L.A. vs Hate initiative provides every Angeleno with tangible actions to undertake if they witness or are victimized by a hate crime or bias-motivated incident.”
“Over the last four years, we have watched as a few prominent Americans have repeatedly condoned hate speech and violence against others,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “This campaign reasserts that we are a nation of empathy, inclusion, tolerance and love, and provides a creative counterforce to hateful messages that have grown more and more frequent and loud.”
“Even before this pandemic began, hate crimes in L.A. County were on the rise, reaching their highest point in a decade last year,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “All of our residents need to know they are valued, that they belong, and that the County is taking action to protect them and respond to this growing threat. By stressing to our local communities the importance of reporting hate and connecting hate victims with supportive services, the L.A. vs. Hate campaign is one way that we will achieve that goal.”
The “L.A. vs Hate” campaign has three components:
– a marketing campaign to provide awareness of the dangers of hate and the importance of reporting hate;
– the ability to report acts of hate and bias motivated bullying, and to connect victims with needed resources via case managers, by calling 211-LA; and
– a network of agencies to provide assistance and prevention strategies to prevent hate.
By inviting artists and their communities to participate in art interventions inspired by the principles of “L.A. vs Hate,” the campaign uses art and community organizing to reach County residents in an authentic and meaningful way. Through this virtual medium, the campaign builds understanding within individual, diverse communities about what constitutes hate and how to report it.
“Standing up to hate is not easy – but by supporting our communities in their efforts to resist and report hate, we are confident that L.A. County will become a more safe and inclusive space for the more than 10 million people who live here,” said Robin Toma, Executive Director of the L.A. County Commission on Human Relations.
The strategies and programs offered by the network partner agencies reflect deep experience in serving a wide range of diverse County residents, including those vulnerable communities who are particularly targeted for hate acts in the largest number of 211 calls: youth of color, immigrants, disabled youth, and since COVID-19 related backlash, Asian-Americans. Some of the network partner agencies include the Anti-Defamation League; Antelope Valley Partners for Health; Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council; Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of L.A. (CHIRLA); Hate Violence Prevention Partnership of L.A. (includes Bienestar, Brotherhood Crusade, California Conference for Equality & Justice, and Muslim Public Affairs Council); Not In Our Town; and San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center, Inc.
“ADL Los Angeles is proud to be a part of L.A. vs. Hate as it reflects ADL’s tradition of calling out what divides us and shining a light on what unites the diverse communities that are the fabric of Los Angeles. L.A. vs. Hate will empower communities to identify hate and to mobilize effectively to counteract it, “ said Matt Friedman, the senior associate regional director for ADL Pacific Southwest Region.
Individuals reporting to 211-LA may choose to report anonymously. Callers are also offered the option to be referred to follow up services including legal aid, trauma counseling, and advocacy support. In the first six months of this year, 87% of residents calling 211-LA to report hate requested follow up services.
For over 70 years, the L.A. County Commission on Human Relations has worked to inform, support, train, and mobilize county residents to transform prejudice into acceptance, tranquility into justice, and hostility into peace.