Each morning, Lisa Armony enters her Irvine workplace through double-locked doors. Armed security personnel stand guard outside and monitor the parking lot throughout the day.
Armony said she regularly participates in mandatory active shooter drills at work and frequently requests grant funding to upgrade the building’s security.
Where does she work that requires such vigilance? She’s the chief impact officer for the Jewish Federation of Orange County, which is housed within the Jewish Community Center.
In an effort to reverse the sharply rising trend in virtually every category of hate crimes and hate incidents in Orange County, Armony joined with representatives of several advocacy groups at the Irvine Civic Center on Monday for the launch of a $1 million county initiative: Hate Hurts Us All.
The campaign is a collaboration between the Orange County Board of Supervisors, Orange County Human Relations Commission, the Jewish Federation of OC, Waymakers, Korean Community Services, the Center for Asian Americans in Action and the G.R.E.E.N. Foundation.
The hub of the campaign will be its website, hatehurtsusall.org, which provides a variety of resources, including platforms for reporting incidents, educational resources, links to outside agencies, resources for groups wanting to hold anti-hate presentations and a section for victims and others to share their stories.
“One of the biggest components of today is to build some excitement about this (campaign), to really have a hate free Orange County,” said Leonel Talavera, OC Human Relations Commission engagement specialist.
Created in part by the communications firm Impreta Communications Group, the campaign will also involve public workshops, heavy use of social media and outreach to news organizations, said Norma Lopez, executive director of the OC Human Relations Commission.
Campaign organizers believe such intense saturation will lead to increased awareness and that will bring on a decline in hate crimes and incidents, Lopez said.
“Our hope is that we are raising awareness around the issue that folks know that they don’t need to tolerate this, that they can report it, know what to report and that they can get help,” Lopez said. “And spreading the word that way, will spotlight the issue.”
The 2020 Orange County Hate Crimes Report compiled by the OC Human Relations Commission reported 112 hate crimes committed in Orange County that year, a 35% increase from 2019.
The report says an additional 263 hate incidents were reported in the county in 2020, a 69% increase from 2019.
The seven hate crimes and 76 hate incidents related to anti-Asian discrimination reported in 2020 represented a significant spike in both areas and religious intolerance accounted for 21% of reported events and crimes against the LGBTQ+ community made up 11%.
“The urgency of this moment impacts all of us,” Armony said. “We must work together to create the hate free-society to which we all aspire.”
Man charged again with hate crime in Huntington Beach
BTS visits the White House, discusses combatting hate crime
Leaders host LA vigil in response to hate-fueled killings in Buffalo, Laguna Woods
Laguna Woods church shooting adds to history of hate, but hope isn’t lost
Leaders call for unity at vigil following deadly shooting at Laguna Woods church