Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the L.A. County Human Relations Commission, the Asian Youth Center, and other community organizations have unveiled public art pieces at three different locations in the San Gabriel Valley.
These pieces, designed to create community and stand together against hate, are part of LA vs. Hate, L.A. County’s anti-hate initiative.
A core component of the LA vs Hate program is using art to strengthen solidarity and healing in the face of discrimination. These three murals by local artist MariNaomi have been installed in the San Gabriel Valley as part of an effort to elevate awareness about the Asian American experience in Los Angeles.
These building-sized comic strips depict the history and many contributions of the AAPI community to L.A. County, the contemporary targeting of AAPI residents due to COVID-related backlash, the journey from hate to healing, and the need for advocacy to ensure solidarity and inclusion for all.
“Throughout the pandemic, members of the AAPI community have faced horrific acts of racism and violence that go against the very principles that make Los Angeles County a welcoming and diverse home for communities of all backgrounds,” shared Solis, supervisor to the 1st District. “These public art installations that were beautifully designed by local artist MariNaomi affirm to AAPI residents everywhere that we are here for them and will continue to advocate for their safety and well-being through the allocation of county resources to address acts of hate and support services for survivors through the LA vs. Hate initiative.”
“It’s an honor to unveil these important art installations in my district as part of the county’s commitment to the L.A. vs. Hate initiative,” said Barger, supervisor to the 5th District. “Art speaks to people in ways that words do not and I believe that these murals will bring a greater awareness and understanding to our efforts to rise up against hate.”
“These beautiful art installations emphasize that L.A. County’s AAPI communities do not face hate violence alone,” said Otto Solórzano, acting director of the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services, also known as WDACS. “LA vs. Hate offers free culturally appropriate supportive services to survivors of hate. By building community through art, LA vs Hate reminds us all that hate has no place here in L.A. County.”
“Even through the pain that L.A. County’s Asian American/Pacific Islander residents are experiencing, the MariNaomi mural enables us to glimpse a past of overcoming prejudice and discrimination, a present urgency to report hate, and the promise of a brighter future for us all,” explained Robin Toma, assistant director of L.A. County WDACS and executive director of the L.A. County Human Relations Commission.
Full-size installations, which were made possible by a generous gift from L.A. Care Health Plan, may be seen at the following locations:
Garvey Park, 7954 Dorothy St., Rosemead 91770
Asian Youth Center, 300 S. San Marino Ave., San Gabriel 91776
Iona Work, 1500 Alhambra Rd., Alhambra 91801
“After a woman who looked a lot like my obaachan [grandmother] experienced a hate crime in my hometown, I was at my breaking point,” said MariNaomi. “I was starting to feel hopeless, but then this project just came to me. It feels good to do something, to make art about the AAPI experience and promote a pathway to support, understanding, and safety.”
“Our hope is that this amazing art project creates more dialogue about allyship, solidarity, and healing within the San Gabriel Valley,” said Michelle Freridge, executive director of the Asian Youth Center.
On Aug. 13, Supervisor Janice Hahn and local leaders dedicated a building-sized mural in Knabe Regional Park, 19700 Bloomfield Ave. in Cerritos, the same location where an elderly Filipino American man was violently attacked on June 5.
The semi-permanent mural by MariNaomi, the result of a partnership between Hahn’s office and LA vs. Hate, will live at the current location for two years.
Participants in the dedication included Hahn, MariNaomi, Toma, Cerritos Mayor Grace Hu, Cerritos City Councilmember Frank Aurelio Yokoyama, Department of Parks and Recreation Director Norma Garcia, and hate crime victim Cesar Echano.
The mural commemorates incidents of anti-Asian hate, including the 1871 massacre of Chinese immigrants in Los Angeles, the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, and the murder of Vincent Chin in 1982.
It also highlights past and present community heroes such as the 442nd Regimental Combaat Team, Yuri Kochiyama (political activist), George Takei (actor and activist), Grace Lee Boggs (political activist), Phil Yu (Angry Asian Man blogger), Ocean Vuong (author), Larry Itliong (labor leader), Chiune Sugihara (diplomat who saved Jews from the Holocaust), Margaret Cho (comic and actor), Alexander Chee (author), Kartar Dhillon (political activist and writer), and MariNaomi’s mother.
It calls upon those concerned about anti-Asian hate to report, advocate, protect and help.
LA vs. Hate is a nationally recognized, community-centered creative campaign to encourage and support all L.A. County residents to unite against, report, and resist hate. LA vs. Hate was created in September 2019 and expanded in March 2021 by a motion, authored by Solis, to address rising acts of hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. LA vs Hate enables county residents who are survivors of hate crimes and hate acts to report hate to 211-LA, and connects these residents with a network of local and culturally attuned organizations that provide assistance and prevention strategies.
For more information about LA vs. Hate, go to: https://www.lavshate.org/