The Listening Sessions: Six Months Later

In late 2012 and early 2013 the OC Human Relations Commission held a series of ”Listening Sessions” across the county, inviting African-American community members to share their stories, challenges, and celebrations of living in Orange County. The “Listening Sessions” were prompted by the experiences of an African-American family who were targeted by hate in Yorba Linda.

In June we released our final report on the sessions which included a set of recommendations and next steps. What follows below is a brief update on what OC Human Relations has done in the last six months in regards to those “next steps.”

We continue to work to make Orange County a place where all people can live free of violence, harassment and discrimination. In six months we will provide a similar update.

Please feel encouraged to share your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below.

GoalsStrategyImplementation
1. Widely distribute information gathered at the Listening Sessions.A. Distribute to 34 cities, 28 school districts, the OC Board of Supervisors and the houses of worship that hosted the Listening Sessions.

B. Share on OC Human Relations website and social media outlets as well as public media.

A. Information gathered at the Listening Sessions has been distributed to 34 cities, 28 schools and the OC Board of Supervisors.

B. The report has been posted on OC Human Relations website and social media as well as public media.

2. Provide outreach and presentations to inform and educate African Americans and all Orange County residents about how to report hate crimes and incidents.C. OC Human Relations will provide twelve Hate Crime presentations across the county in schools, houses of worship and any other requesting organizations.C. Staff delivered 13 hate crime presentations to the public.
3. Provide opportunities for OC neighbors of all backgrounds to interact in small groups and breakdown any barriers or misperceptions about other faiths, ethnicities and differences in general.D. OC Human Relations will offer facilitation training and curriculum to up to 30 neighborhood leaders to host small gatherings of their neighbors.

E. OC Human Relations will seek to partner with community agencies to take the Listening Sessions to different cities and engage diverse community members.

D. OC Human Relations staff has provided curriculum to staff from Girl Scouts of OC to conduct a living room dialogue.
4. Provide advocacy trainings to ensure that African Americans and all Orange County residents know their rights within the school system.F. OC Human Relations will provide trainings to parent groups about student and parent rights in school as requested.E. OC Human Relations provided Parent Leadership Institute trainings at three sites targeting low income neighborhoods in San Clemente and Anaheim.
5. Increase opportunities for meaningful interaction between the police and community, including on-going training of officers about working in diverse communities.G. OC Human Relations will organize and facilitate forums and dialogues between community and local law enforcement as needed.

H. OC Human Relations will provide diversity training at the police academy.

I. OC Human Relations will explore the possibility of offering advanced human relations training for local police departments.

F. OC Human Relations staff serves on two local law enforcement advisory boards.

G. Staff facilitated 6 diversity trainings at the Sheriff’s Basic Training Academy.

H. Staff facilitated 3 advanced workshops on “Facilitation Skills for Police Officers” at the Sheriff’s Basic Training Academy.