Los Angeles County has announced the launch of the “L.A. vs Hate” initiative to report and end incidents of hate and hate crimes the county.
Led by the Human Relations Commission, the LA vs. Hate campaign partners with 14 organizations from every district of the county representing a diverse coalition of voices. They include the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, the Latino LGBT organization Bienestar, the immigrant support group Coalition for Human Rights, the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
The campaign’s website says its goals are to:
- Address the normalization of hate and inspire people to stand up to it.
- Build understanding about what constitutes hate and how to report it.
- Use cultural strategy and art to connect with residents in an authentic and meaningful way.
In an announcement of the program, the county said that 211-LA continues to receive reports of hate. From January through July 2020, it received 256 total calls reporting hate, including 27 calls as a result of COVID-19. 211-LA is a service accessed by dialing or texting that number that provides information about a broad range of social services.
“Over the last four years, we have watched as a few prominent Americans have repeatedly condoned hate speech and violence against others,” said L.A. County 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.”
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;
- A way 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.
The campaign will invite artists to participate in art interventions inspired by the principles of “L.A. vs Hate,” using art and community organizing to reach county residents.
“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 LA County Commission on Human Relations.
The announcement of the initiative cited 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.
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.