Asian Youth Center (AYC) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice–Los Angeles (Advancing Justice–LA) on Jan. 12 published their report on the Stop Hate Community Survey of Asian and Asian Americans living in the San Gabriel Valley.

This is the first survey of its kind in the region, focusing on the experiences and concerns of Asian American residents in one of the largest Asian communities in the country.

With support from US Bank, HealthNet, and Los Angeles County’s LA vs. Hate program, the Stop Hate Community Survey asked residents about their experiences of anti-Asian hate and discrimination, perceptions of safety and support, and access to resources and community needs. Over 300 residents responded to the survey, of which 284 met the eligibility criteria to be included in the final analysis.

The survey found that nearly one-third (31%) of respondents said they or their family experienced a hate incident based on their race or ethnicity since the COVID-19 outbreak, with most of these incidents involving insults or verbal abuse.

Additionally, 37% of respondents said they noticed an increase in racial discrimination or harassment in their community since the COVID-19 outbreak, and 59% said they have changed the way they feel and behave when they leave home.

About half (49%) of parent respondents indicated they have concerns about their children returning to school related to anti-Asian hate and bullying.

Respondents described getting verbally assaulted while shopping, observing hate speech and graffiti on Asian-owned businesses, feeling anxiety about their safety when leaving home, and being concerned about physical attacks for the first time as an Asian American.

The majority of respondents did not feel there is support in their community for victims of racial discrimination or harassment.

When asked to select resources that would be most effective in preventing discrimination, most respondents selected community patrol/neighborhood watch programs, followed by stronger community-police relations and cross-cultural events, such as community gatherings and celebrations.

About 3 out of 4 parent respondents felt that more training for teachers and staff and clearer protocols on how schools address violence and bullying would help them and their children feel safer returning to school.

Finally, many respondents also felt their communities in general needed more mental health/substance abuse services, childcare/youth activities, and senior services.

The full survey report is available at www.aycla.org/survey.

“AYC proposes to address these findings in several ways,” said Michelle Freridge, AYC executive director, “First, we will continue addressing anti-Asian hate incidents in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County through in-language community education, engagement, and mobilization activities to empower residents to prevent, address, and recover from anti-Asian hate incidents.”

In addition, AYC is implementing:

• Youth-led social justice projects with high school students in Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley through the Youth & Parent Leadership Development Program and Dream Allies Network;

• After-school programming in Alhambra Unified School District and the San Gabriel Unified School District for K-8 students has incorporated classes from the Asian American Education Project curriculum and anti-bullying lessons; and

• In partnership with LA vs. Hate, AYC will continue to create and support local initiatives working to stop hate in our communities, such as LA vs Hate’s Stronger Together mural project by local artist MariNaomi. Through community events, public art, and social media outreach, they will continue working with other local partners to engage the community and amplify the message that any kind of hate is unacceptable.

“San Gabriel Valley is one of the most important Asian communities in California and we are here for individuals who don’t know where to turn for confidential, safe support. We can help in their languages,” said Connie Chung Joe, CEO of Advancing Justice-LA.  “We will continue to fight for public programs and services that serve the diverse and complex needs of AAPIs in this community.”

Based on the results of this survey, AYC and Advancing Justice–LA will work to engage policymakers and advocate for the resources requested by the community. The organizations also plan to expand their existing efforts to address anti-Asian hate and discrimination.

Advancing Justice–LA prioritizes programs that address anti-Asian discrimination and hate in the following ways:

• Reaching the most vulnerable immigrant communities through our Asian Language Help lines and targeted community outreach. Victims can receive free legal assistance in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, and English.

• Public communications and awareness campaigns that include thought pieces and national/local PSAs through ethnic and mainstream media partners, allied organizations, and social media outlets. This includes advertising in multiple Asian languages to raise awareness and counter-messaging against harmful rhetoric.

• Amplifying AAPI voices by speaking out on behalf of the community in public forums, discussions, and briefings with national, state, county, and city officials, legislators, nonprofit leaders and corporations.

Bystander Intervention Trainings: Advancing Justice-LA has partnered with AYC and a coalition of community-based organizations to deliver bystander intervention trainings for residents throughout Southern California. Currently, trainings are offered for adults in English and can be accessed here. AYC just completed translating the curriculum into Chinese, so trainings will be available in Chinese soon. The curriculum will be adapted into a teaching training program and a student-centered program.

AYC and Advancing Justice–LA will continue to use program contacts, local media, and social media network @AYC100 and @advancingjustice_la to distribute information about how to report hate incidents and crimes and to share resources for those impacted.

Those who have been victims of hate should consider reporting with L.A. County by calling 211 or using the county’s LA vs. Hate online form. Hate incidents can also be reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition aimed at addressing anti-Asian American discrimination. Click here to see the full report: https://advancingjustice-la.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/AYC-AAAJLA-SGV-Stop-Hate-Survey-Final-Report.pdf

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