Stop the Hate Program Continues to Build Bridges Between Communities

By Kim Johnson, Director of the California Department of Social Services

California For ALL isn’t just a tag line or catch phrase, it’s a promise that the California Dream is possible for everyone. The people of California are our greatest resource and deserve nothing less. In California, we are proud of our incredible diversity, and we succeed because of it.

Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature have invested in several Stop the Hate programs throughout the state to help victims of bias and hate through community-based, culturally responsive services that promote healing for victims and their families, and to prevent future hate incidents.

Through this initiative, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) recently invested more than $91 million in non-profit community organizations across California. As part of this work, organizations focused on supporting different races, ethnicities, and languages are coming together to uplift one another and strengthen their understanding of each other to help combat hate.

CDSS recently shared some updates on the significant, meaningful impacts that these investments are having on our communities across the state. Once again, I wanted to lift-up some additional stories that speak to the incredible diversity, solidarity, and resiliency of our communities:

  • Bamby Salcedo, CEO of TransLatin@ Coalition and Vice-Chair of the Commission on the State of Hate, recently spoke at the California State Capitol about being a transwoman survivor of a hate crime. Salcedo spoke about healing from this trauma by accessing support from people who have uplifted her. The TransLatin@ Coalition is doing just that for others by creating a strong network with organizations, such as TransFronteras in San Diego and Alianza Latinx in Orange County, to expand outreach, provide direct mental health services, and offer crucial support and guidance to communities to navigate hate crime incidents. Since the Civil Rights Department’s launch of the California vs Hate non-emergency hate incident and hate crime reporting system, the organization’s efforts to support communities has become more intentional, striving to connect individuals targeted for hate with culturally competent resources and strengthening prevention and response initiatives. The TransLatin@ Coalition has also organized speaker events and trainings to help empower communities by providing education on hate crime reporting procedures, safety resources, and various post-attack actions that can be taken. They’re committed to building and fostering a future filled with hope and an improved quality of life for communities across California, including transgender, gender nonconforming, non-binary, and intersex individuals.
  • In collaboration with Black Women for Wellness, the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative held an Asian American and Black Unity art contest around the theme “Bridging Community and Solidarity.” Asian American and Black artists submitted 17 art pieces and an exhibition was hosted at the LibroMobile bookstore in Santa Ana. LibroMobile is a Latinx community-oriented bookstore that values social justice and fair payment to artists. About 100 people attended the event. During the closing reception, artists talked about solidarity and art in the Asian American and Black communities. These organizations have also hosted a racial justice training series, where participants learned about the history of Asian immigration to the United States and anti-Asian racism, as well as Black history and racism in the United States.
  • How I Keep Looking Up, presented by the Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco, was a tri-lingual, multiethnic, community-based public art project that brought together Latina/Hispanic and Asian immigrant women from the Mission and Chinatown neighborhoods in San Francisco to create flags that represent their power and resilience. The women marched together with the banners they designed alongside their family and friends in the annual Chinese New Year Parade.
  • The Korean Community Center of the East Bay partners with Healthy Black Families, a nonprofit organization in Berkeley, that works with Black-owned businesses and meets quarterly to discuss ways to better support small businesses. The goal of the partnership is to deepen relationship-building across racial lines, share lessons learned, and find ways of collaborating to support small business owners and create a safer community.
  • Groundswell, formerly OC Human Relations, has been committed to combatting hate in partnership with community organizations. Their Hate Prevention Network offers space for organizations to work together to prevent and address hate crimes. The Network works in solidarity with other groups in the community to address the root causes of hate in the Orange County region.
  • Asian Youth Center in Los Angeles recently hosted a Dia de Los Muertos event with students at San Gabriel High School’s Dream Center. The Dream Center provides academic, social, and emotional support to immigrant students and is a safe space for students from marginalized groups to connect and feel supported. This cultural event, which is celebrated among Latinx communities, was conducted to educate students about the holiday, specifically, the significance and where Dia de Los Muertos originated.
  • LA Commons continues to uplift Latinx, Asian, Black, and immigrant communities in the MacArthur Park region of Los Angeles. Through partnerships with the Central American Resource Center, the MacArthur Park Recreation CenterKoreatown Youth + Community Center, and Mujeres de la Tierra, they have been identifying key issues impacting the MacArthur Park community that can benefit from art and cultural interventions.

These are just a handful of organizations across California that are collaborating and supporting communities, joining together to address hate, re-shaping narratives, and building solidarity to improve the safety and lives of those around them.