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California Launches Statewide Anti-Hate Crimes Campaign

The great seal of the state of California

(Image courtesy of the state of California via Bay City News)

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By Michael J. Fitzgerald

A major statewide “CA vs Hate” awareness and education campaign launched last week, boosting funding to support hate-crime victims and help prevent acts of hate.

The multilingual program was announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who said the effort would include additional resources, funding and guidance to empower and protect Californians. It comes on the heels of recent high-profile incidents, including the horrific killing of a shop owner in Southern California.

In the first month since Newsom launched the “CA vs Hate” hotline, there have been 180 reports of hate acts across California.

The program is a continuation of Newsom’s commitment to combating hate crimes, officials said. It comes after an earlier investment of $44.6 million for anti-hate programs through the Stop the Hate Program, the launch of the “CA vs Hate” hotline, the creation of the Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education, and numerous grants for nonprofits to strengthen security.

This announcement by Newsom comes as diverse groups across the nation continue to be targeted by increased acts of hate, including communities of color, religious groups and LGBTQ+ communities, a state spokesman said.

Just days after Newsom’s announcement, three people were killed in in Jacksonville, Florida, in a racist attack by a gunman targeting Black people at a Dollar General store. “This shooting was racially motivated, and he hated Black people,”Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said at a news conference.

The new California program will include:

  • $91.4 million to 173 local organizations across the state to support victims, provide resources, and facilitate anti-hate prevention measures.
  • The first major statewide media campaign to raise awareness of “CA vs Hate” with print, radio, and digital ads that will run in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Korean, Tongan, Mixtec, and Hmong. The campaign will focus on traditionally hard-to-reach communities.
  • A letter to all public school leaders in California highlighting the legal responsibilities to ensure ethnic studies curricula –– which give students a chance to “see” themselves in the fabric of our state — are appropriate and do not reflect or promote bias, bigotry or discrimination.

“An attack on any of our communities is an attack on everything we stand for as Californians,” Newsom said.

“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.”

This resource is supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.
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