New website to track hate incidents launches in Central Valley

STOCKTON, Calif. — A new effort is helping track hate incidents in Stockton and the Central Valley. Those who’ve experienced hate, bigotry, bias or discrimination can report a hate incident on the 209 Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition’s (APIC) website.

With national and state efforts to track acts of hate, community leaders in Stockton felt there needed to be a localized way to collect information on hate incidents impacting diverse communities in the Central Valley.

“You see big cities like the Bay Area, SoCal and Sacramento who have all these resources on the Stop the Hate initiatives, but sometimes the Central Valley, Stockton, San Joaquin Valley don’t get a lot of attention and investment,” said Hannah Reah Divino, Holistic Health Director of Healing Pilipinx Uplifting Self & Others (P.U.S.O.), a program at Little Manila Rising.

A coalition of Asian-led organizations in Stockton were inspired by Stop AAPI Hate, a group which operates the nation’s largest reporting center tracking acts of hate against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Empowering Marginalized Asian Communities and Little Manila Rising are part of 209 APIC; the group launched the website specifically to raise awareness about their “Stop the Hate” reporting tool.

The tool asks for demographic information, a description of the hate incident and what resources would be helpful for those to “heal, find closure, and get justice” after the experience. The coalition plans to provide support to victims and survivors of hate incidents including mental health services, financial assistance and self-defense workshops. 

“I believe it’s very important for our organizations who are led by people from the community to have this opportunity to develop these tools and resources,” said Divino.

Their efforts are funded through the Stop the Hate (STH) Program, under the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), which is part of the historic API Equity Budget that passed in 2021 to combat the rise in hate against Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. However, Divino said this new effort is for all communities of color and those who are marginalized in the Central Valley.

“It’s very important for us as Asian-led organizations and leaders to make sure that other communities of color know that there’s this resource and tool out there, because again, it’s not only Asians who are experiencing instances of hate or discrimination and racism, right?” said Divino. “We know that our Black siblings or our brown siblings are survivors of hate for generations, right? So, we definitely want to build that cross racial solidarity.”

She said the coalition started during the pandemic to address the rise of anti-Asian hate and bridge solidarity across diverse communities. Some of the events they’ve held have focused on confronting anti-Blackness in the Asian community and hold police accountable for their actions.

Divino hopes that their on-going work in the community helps people feel comfortable using the reporting tool if they need support for any acts of violence, whether overt or subtle including microaggressions, racial slurs or discrimination based on someone’s identity.

“I know that it’s hard, especially when we’re so used to surviving, and we’re so used to just grinding and doing everything on our own,” said Divino. “But I believe that it’s very important for our community to reach out for help if they need it, and to know that there’s people out there who genuinely want to support them and care about them and believe that they should demand justice.”

They plan to use the data collected to help inform policies, pinpoint educational needs and implement better protection for diverse communities in Stockton and the Central Valley. The information shared through the hate incident reporting tool will remain confidential.

You can report a hate incident to the 209 API Coalition HERE.