THE LA vs. Hate Coalition, led by the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS) and the LA County Human Relations Commission, announced LA vs. Hate United Against Hate Week 2021 from November 14-20.
Through a unique, community-building blend of art, social media, and educational resources, the LA vs. Hate Coalition urges communities to reject hate and bigotry by promoting inclusion and understanding.
“Hate has no place in Los Angeles County,” shared Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “That is why I directed the County’s Human Relation Commission to launch a public education campaign called “LA vs. Hate” back in 2019, and work with local organizations to empower Angelenos to unite against and resist hate. Unity and kindness are the only way forward. To that end, my hope is that United Against Hate Week serves as an opportunity for all to embrace of the diversity of our County and support inclusion and safety for all.”
“The increase in hate crimes this past year reinforces the need to speak up and take a stand with United Against Hate Week. I am hopeful that initiatives like this, will empower residents with the ability to help create a turning point and a step in the right direction for Los Angeles County” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “In a County as large and diverse as ours, it is our humanity that holds us together and there is no reason why we cannot celebrate our differences. I will remain committed to supporting policies and initiatives that embrace compassion and respect for all. As we know from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“It’s time to stand up and be counted,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “LA is seeing a sharp rise in racist, homophobic, and xenophobic crimes, and one good way to combat this tide of hate is to participate in the LA vs. Hate activities, which range from workshops to walkathons. Let LA know you stand for equity and inclusion.”
“I am wholeheartedly committed to advocating for victims’ rights, and our County’s Unite Against Hate Week is an important campaign that raises awareness to ultimately help victims of hate who have been attacked in a variety of settings,” stated Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who oversees the County’s Fifth District. “Many public places such as our transportation systems are open and easily accessible to attacks by hate actors. As County leaders, we must focus our efforts into combatting hate at every possible touchpoint to keep the public safe.”
“Our diversity has made LA County a global economic and cultural success,” said Otto Solórzano, Acting Director of WDACS. “It’s more important than ever that we stand together, united against hate. United Against Hate Week is an important reminder that we cannot remain silent in the face of hate, but instead we must act.”
“Our United Against Hate Week may be more important than ever this year,” said Robin Toma, Executive Director of the Human Relations Commission. Cognizant of the fact that the Commission’s Annual Hate Crime Report revealed an increase in reported hate crimes that reached the highest level in LA County since 2008, Toma noted that “LA vs Hate calls on everyone to do something, big or small, and become connected to the overwhelming numbers of us who are against hate and bigotry, and for love and embracing of the diversity in our County.”
“From November 14-20, United Against Hate Week will invite LA County residents to take action against hate by going to www.lavshate.org/united-against-hate-week and using the toolkits, participating in an event, and getting involved at the community level to fight acts of hate,” stated Dr. Debra Duardo, the Superintendent of the LA County Office of Education. “All school districts will be alerted to this event’s goals of providing safe schools, inclusive classrooms, and alerting staff to the dangers of bullying and bias.”
“Participating in United Against Hate Week is another way L.A. Care is working to advance health equity,” said James Kyle, MD, Chief of Equity and Quality Medical Director, L.A. Care Health Plan. “The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on health inequities in low-income communities of color, and it also exposed the ugly side of fear as hate incidents rose due to misplaced blame. United Against Hate Week shines a light on how we can change that dynamic. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to be as safe and healthy as possible.”
“Blue Shield of California Promise has a long-standing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and stands against racism of all forms,” said Sandra Rose, senior director of community & provider engagement of Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan. “The County of Los Angeles’ LA vs. Hate program is bringing critical dialogue and resources to communities we serve while giving community members tools to develop resilience. We are proud to support the program’s bystander training, mass meditation, and art resiliency projects for local residents of all ages,” added Rose.
The Executive Director of the LA Chamber of Commerce, Maria Salinas, noted that recent studies illuminated the disparate impact hate crimes have on minority-owned businesses. “The Chamber has several initiatives to promote policies that strengthen small business, expand opportunities for higher education to develop a 21st Century workforce capable of competing in a global economy, and that offer cost-effective advances to promote economic growth and address climate change,” said Ms. Salinas. “United Against Hate Week helps to address all our signature policies, ensuring a safe, inclusive economic region for all.”
“Inclusion and equity are vital to building healthy, resilient communities,” stated Maribel Marin, Executive Director, 211-LA. “United Against Hate Week provides cities the opportunity to build stronger connections that will lead to year-round engagement in LA County’s unique and diverse communities.”
In response to the rise in hate, in 2018 the Board of Supervisors directed LACCHR to develop an initiative to prevent and respond to hate incidents in the County, which resulted in “LA vs. Hate.” The initiative has three components: (1) a community-driven public engagement campaign to encourage residents and organizations to unite against and report acts of hate; (2) the first government hotline (via 211) for reporting all acts of hate and providing assistance to hate victims; and (3) a network of community agencies that can address systemic prejudice by providing hate prevention and rapid response advocacy and services. Since launching in June 2020, “LA vs. Hate” content has been viewed over 468 million times and has been shared over 88 million times. Since September 2019, when LA vs. Hate and 211 began accepting calls to report hate, more than 1,400 calls have been received. The LA vs. Hate Coalition includes civic leaders, educators, LA County departments, artists, health plans, immigrant rights groups, and more. (AJPress)