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News Releases

MEDIATION WEEK 2012 CELEBRATION
The County’s dispute resolution programs have enjoyed wide success, and have proven to be a valuable resource to the public and the courts by providing an alternate way of settling disputes outside of the traditional justice system.

MARSHALL WONG RECOGNIZED AS NASW CALIFORNIA SOCIAL WORKER OF THE YEAR

Marshall Wong has been selected as the Social Worker of the Year for all of California by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).



Washington Prep Senior, Ruby Pool, Speaks at the Hate Crime Report Press Conference About No Haters Here, November 17, 2011

Good morning, everyone. My name is Ruby Pool and I am a senior here at George Washington Preparatory High School. The topic we have been focusing on today does not affect just one individual; this affects us as a community and as a whole.

I asked myself the other day, “What is it to have Courage to become an Ally to someone who is being harassed, bullied, or beaten? Is it standing up to someone or becoming a Lifesaver…????”

The topic we are dealing with is a very serious and in-depth topic. But, we are not here to point out our schools problems. We are here to inform on the action we are taking to decrease the violence in our school and community.

I remember on one occasion I witnessed a young man being bullied. As I saw this young man being pushed to the wall and being humiliated, I did not bother to help, but continued to my destination. I never knew how this young man ended up, nor did I ever see him again. Did I know this was wrong? Yes, I did know it was wrong. Did I do anything to stop it? No, I did not. Why didn’t I??? Because in my eyes it seemed normal. But, as I look back, I wish I had had the courage to have stopped those bullies, and help that poor boy.

Some were probably waiting for someone like Martin Luther King or Abraham Lincoln, a Harriet Tubman or a Gandhi, or that special someone to show up. What if there isn’t anybody like them? What if it’s up to us??? Well, let me tell you that THIS IS OUR TIME! Consider this, an almost unthinkable scenario: A world without Violence, Where no child is abused, no friend is beaten, A world without Terror, without threats, without wounds from intentional actions. A world without violence…

We cannot even imagine it. The very thought Eludes our grasps. Why is that? Is it our cynicism, burnt-out-disappointment, seeing too much reality, gang killing, stalkings, fights? or is it Fear? Fear of failure, that we may not be able to be successful in achieving violence-free relationships and peaceful communities? Are we so afraid to even dare to imagine it, and thus unable to even dream it?

I don’t have the answer. But I know that vision is the ability to see the invisible. To see beyond the violence and yet to place ourselves in front of it, so we can take compassionate action and create peace. That is my definition of Courage.

Being a student here for 3 years, and this being my last, I have noticed dramatic changes in the school and in the community. I began here as a freshman and I remember being frightened. You would hear of the violence around you and the ones that frightened me the most were the problems inside the school. Later, I became accustomed to the violence and the Fear had gone away. A class and club were introduced to me, the name kind of made me laugh -- NO HATERS HERE. This club opened my eyes and allowed me to see that the violence surrounding me was not normal, and how the simple steps of name-calling can end up as serious as death.

I became more active in the club, and for the young man I once saw being bullied, I now stand up and speak out for those who are vulnerable. We take action to involve all students and make our school a safe place. The problems in “09” are no longer tolerated. Because of security? No, not really. It’s because through this program we have learned to love and respect one another. We take responsibility for gathering students from all over the campus, from the ones sitting under the stairs to the ones that are on the Quad. We help students break those barriers of hate and form new ones bonds that hold us together. We have gone through a lot of changes and have broken the barriers of HATE!

Now, we are a No Haters Here School, and do not tolerate Hate and Violence on our campus. We are working hard to allow the next generation of students to live out the dream. Hate




Crimes Decline 28%, the Lowest Number in 21 Years Los Angeles (November 17, 2011):

The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (LACCHR) today released its annual analysis on hate crimes reported in Los Angeles County for the most recent complete calendar year, 2010. The findings show a dramatic 29% drop in the total number reported in the county, and the lowest yearly total in 21 years. The decrease in reported hate crimes, from 593 to 427, marks the third consecutive year of decline. In addition, the findings include three attempted hate-motivated murders reported in 2010.mmented, “We are encouraged by this 3rd year of decline and the historic low in hate crimes reported.” He added that this success is due to a combination of several factors, including: focused efforts by the county government and LACCHR to provide human relations programming in schools and strengthen gang violence reduction programs in targeted areas; new attention to reentry services and systems for youth and young adults that can reduce recidivism and gang violence; and law enforcement crack-downs on gangs carrying out hate violence in certain neighborhoods.

“At the same time, we are alarmed that hate crimes against African Americans, Jews, gays and lesbians, and Latinos are consistently the highest year after year,” Commission President Sergio Paz remarked. “In particular, the high rates of victimization between Latinos and African Americans continue to be an issue we focus on in schools, in our communities, and in the jails and prisons.”

The majority of hate crimes were racially-motivated (51%) and once again, African Americans were targeted most frequently (53%). Hate crimes between African Americans and Latinos remained disturbingly high. Latinos were suspects in 59% of the anti-black crimes and blacks were suspects in 68% the anti-Latino crimes. Nearly half of Latino-on-black crimes were committed by gang members.

Commenting on implications of the report, Toma observed, “We know that we need to promote intergroup understanding and human relations skills, in our peace-keeping efforts in the Harbor-Gateway area, in the area of Pasadena/Altadena, and in our work with Washington Prep High School and its feeder schools.”

Other findings in the LACCHR Hate Crime Report include: Sexual orientation crimes comprised 26% of all hate crimes and remained the most likely of major motivation categories to be of a violent nature (70%), a rate significantly higher than racial crimes (64%) and religious crimes (18%). Gay men were targeted in 86% of homophobic crimes.  Hate crimes motivated by religion dropped 42% and the largest number, anti-Jewish crimes, fell by half.

A number of hate crimes (18%) showed evidence of white supremacist ideology, most frequently the use of swastikas or other symbols of hatred. Roughly equal numbers of these crimes targeted Jews and racial targets. The racial targets were primarily African Americans, but here were also small numbers of Latinos, Asian, Armenians and other groups. Hate crimes occurred throughout Los Angeles County, but the largest numbers were concentrated in the San Fernando Valley followed by the Metro region (stretching from West Hollywood to Boyle Heights). To view the complete report with hate crime maps, graphs and tables, go to www.lahumanrelations.org. About the Human Relations Commission The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations is one of the oldest and largest agencies of its kind in the United States. The Commission works to foster harmonious and equitable intergroup relations, empower communities and institutions, engage in non-violent conflict resolution, and promote an informed and inclusive multicultural society.