Queer orgs grateful for Stop the Hate state funding

A number of nonprofits representing minority groups, including the LGBTQ community, are grateful for grants from the state aimed at fighting prejudice.

Governor Gavin Newsom’s office announced the $91.4 million in funding to 173 local organizations on August 23 as part of the Stop the Hate campaign of the California Department of Social Services.

The announcement also comes on the heels of a sobering 2022 hate crimes report from Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office, which the Bay Area ReporterĀ previously reported. It showed reported hate crime events rose 20.2% last year, including increases in crimes reported against gay men, lesbians, and trans people.

“An attack on any of our communities is an attack on everything we stand for as Californians,” Newsom stated in a news release announcing the funding awards. “As hate-fueled rhetoric drives increasing acts of bigotry and violence, California is taking action to protect those who are targeted just for being who they are. We’re bolstering our support for victims and anti-hate programs and tackling ignorance and intolerance through education to prevent hate from taking hold in our communities.”

The grants were announced shortly after the August 18 shooting death of straight ally Laura Ann Carleton, 66, who was gunned down by a man after he confronted her about a Pride flag she had displayed outside her Mag.Pi clothing store in Cedar Grove, near Lake Arrowhead in Southern California. The suspect, identified by authorities as Travis Ikeguchi, 27, fled the scene but was located by authorities and killed by police after he refused to drop his weapon.

Westside San Francisco Assemblymember Phil Ting (D) invoked the hate crimes numbers in his statement on the funding, noting that reported hate crimes against Asian Americans did decline after a precipitous spike during the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

“The latest statewide numbers show a decrease in hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community last year, indicating our investments are paying off,” Ting stated. “But we must continue building upon our work. The latest round of grants ensures victim resources and services remain available, while educational and cultural initiatives that foster greater understanding forge ahead. I remain hopeful acceptance and inclusion will win out over hate.”

Forty-five recipients, for a total of $27,107,800 in funds, are headquartered in the Bay Area or the Central Coast, which are counted together by the California Health and Human Services Agency in itsĀ table of grantees. These include San Francisco’s Community United Against Violence ($750,000), PRC ($620,000), the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center ($800,000), and Santa Barbara County’s Pacific Pride Foundation ($475,000).

Pablo Espinoza, a co-executive director of Community United Against Violence, stated to the B.A.R. that “with these funds we will build up our capacity to provide the services and programs we currently provide.”

These include emergency victim assistance, arts-based support groups, and leadership development for survivors of violence, Espinoza explained.

“We will also continue our work with and training of organizations that provide other services to LGBTQ+ survivors, such as housing, legal and medical/mental health, among others, to build their capacity to listen to and properly refer LGBTQ+ survivors who disclose violence, and connect them with CUAV, and thus maintain and strengthen a network so survivors of violence receive culturally relevant and competent services,” Espinoza stated. “CUAV can in turn refer survivors out to these organizations when our clients need their assistance.”