The main goal of OC Human Relations’ #IamOCCA Project is to showcase and highlight the richness of our County’s culture and diversity.

To do this, we are launching a photo series depicting people from diverse communities that will be featured on multiple social media platforms.

By having people share their stories, we hope to plant the seeds of understanding, acceptance and harmony while increasing awareness about the importance of respect and unity.

#IamOCCA #WeAreOneOC #HateFreeOC #kNOwHate

“Try to keep an open-mind. There’s lots of different view-points in Orange County and that’s something to consider. Try to be considerate of your neighbors and what they’re going through. It’s not easy to live in Orange County, especially with the rising costs, living costs. There’s a lot of development, so I would imagine that a lot of people in Orange County are somewhat struggling. So be mindful of that and be mindful of what other people are going through.” Read Brianna’s full story.

“To be me, a woman, it’s not very difficult. I’ve had many opportunities here in Orange County – education, employment – I’ve had it pretty easy for the last 46 years of my life, when just thinking in terms of being a woman of color. But, when I think about being a mother of color with children who are also of color in Orange County that completely changes the story. I feel exhausted from being constantly hyperaware of the way people look at my children, how they perceive both their intelligence and their socioeconomic level because of where they are growing up in Huntington Beach, CA.” Read Lorena’s full story.

The only thing we should focus on should be their personality, their hearts, and how they act. Just overall, how they are as a person, because race and gender is nothing different. As I’ve said before, the only race that we have that I believe in is humanity.” Read Wendy’s full story

“Hate-free OC? Pretty simple. Everybody be kind to one another. Just be respectful. Just don’t be rude to anyone, ’cause that creates a domino effect.” Read Rudy’s full story.

Living in Orange County, it’s much easier to be comfortable in a community that offers so much and is pristine. There are differences among all of us – differences in appearance, in religion, in language, in sexual orientation – and that is a good thing. A Hate-Free OC would mean greater diversity and representation in positions of leadership. There are voices that have been silenced in the past, and we have to make an honest effort and make this County a much better place by opening up our hearts and minds to hear them, listen to them, understand them and support them.” Read Susan and Noah’s full story

“I have to say a hate-free Orange County looks like just a place where everyone can be themselves, free of judgment and discrimination. You know, no matter who you love or what you do, what color your skin is. You’re just accepted for who you are no matter what” Read Lacey’s full story

“My advice to the residents of Orange County is to find a solution to the homeless population living in Orange County” Read Ron’s full story

“My advice to the residents of Orange County is to branch out and explore other communities. If you have been raised here in Orange County there are certain things that you’ve grown accustomed to, there’s certain privileges that you have, but there are other communities that struggle a bit more. I feel like you should go to other communities and just learn more about them. Maybe even live there at one point, just to understand a bit more on other people’s situation.” Read Tatiana’s full story

“My advice for people in Orange County is to get to know your neighbors, get to know different cultures, people of different faith backgrounds and sexual orientations. You are setting an example for others and your children to love, accept and have tolerance.” Read Laila’s full story

“It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men” Read Tony`s full story

“My advice to residents of Orange County is to just treat everyone how you want to be treated.” Read Kin’s full story

“A hate-free Orange County to me looks like: everyone has equal housing and there are not a lot of homeless people. I’ve seen a lot of homeless people in my community because there is no shelter room for them. I would say a hate-free community is where everyone feels equal and is treated equal” Read Claudia’s full story

“Open up. Don’t be afraid to venture the markets. Talk to people… just be more open and not so closed minded.” Read Sallie’s full story

“I would say, get to know your neighbor, show some interest. I think if we all did that it would be such a nice place in Orange County. ” Read Laura’s full story

“No one should be discriminated against on the basis of their gender or race. As well as that, each person has the opportunity and chance to improve themselves without being judged for their past.” Read Crystal’s full story

“I love the richness of Orange County, the diversity of Orange County. I love the resistance of Orange County. I love the push-back of Orange County.” Read Dr. Rodriguez’ full story

“When you expose yourself, I think part of you does change because you’re opening yourself up to everything that’s been closed, everything that you’ve been closed off to before. So, it may not change your opinion, but it may make you more cognizant of reality and what other people are going through and more aware of those around you.” Read Taylor’s full story

“A hate-free OC would mean that I intentionally get to know my neighbors, people around me, people that live in my community.” Read Richard’s full story.

“Every time I go outside, I don’t only see people that are like me. There’s lots of diversity around here, a lot of different people, different cultures that I encounter everywhere. So, it’s very interesting to be me in Orange County…” Read Natalie’s full story

“I envision a place with equality. It’s something that the United States is looking for, but it all starts in your county, your city, your local town.” Read Bryan’s full story

“I love how diverse [OC] is. We have a huge Hispanic community in one part of Orange County and a huge Asian community in another part. You get all types of food because of it…” Read Gabriela’s full story

If you’d your story to be part of this series, please email us at [email protected] with your contact information