On Friday, July 15, 2022 the Orange County Human Relations Council hosted a Hate Happens Here Town Hall: OC’s Call to Action to develop a people and community-centered strategy to eliminate bias motivated hate in Orange County. The hate prevention gathering brainstormed various solutions to address hate.

The Town Hall was held only six weeks after a gunman, motivated by his hate for the Taiwanese community, stormed into Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods and opened fire, killing Dr. John Cheng of Laguna Niguel. The devastating shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church not only highlights the prevalence of hate crimes in Orange County but also the urgent need to address and solve this pertinent issue as a community. Similarly, just in 2020 alone, Orange County saw an increase of 1,800% in hate incidents targeting those who are or are perceived to be Asian American.

“With hate crimes clearly on the rise in Orange County and throughout our nation, it is critical that we come together as a community to address these issues,” said Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, 5th District. “I’m pleased to support this important event taking place in my district and urge the community to participate.” Supervisor Bartlett will make welcoming remarks at the Town Hall.

The meeting both explored how hate can manifest itself in society and focus on developing various local and national strategies to prevent any further hate related incidents from happening in Orange County and beyond. The Town Hall is open to all residents of Orange County with an emphasis on key stakeholders from K-12 school systems, higher education institutions, city officials, nonprofit organizations, local and regional elected officials, and government entities or representatives.

Watch a portion of the proceedings in the video below:

About Orange County Human Relations Council
For over 30 years Orange County Human Relations Council has supported the broader Orange County community in building mutual understanding among residents to create safe, inclusive communities free from violence, discrimination, harassment, and intergroup conflict. The Council mediates conflict and delivers diversity and inclusion programs, through five core programs across the county: BRIDGES Safe and Respectful Schools, Restorative Schools Program, Community Building, Dispute Resolution and Training on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.