Hate Crimes Prevention Project Art Exhibitions
Since 2008, ALG has collaborated with several youth organizations, including the Chinatown Youth Initiative (CYI), the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA-NY), South Asian Youth Action! (SAYA) and United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE), for the annual Hate Crimes Prevention Project (HCPP), a multicultural project that seeks to spread an awareness of hate crimes prevention, promote cross cultural awareness, engage high school students in hate crimes prevention, and use art as an activism tool.
Every year from March to August, three interns and one coordinator from each organization discuss issues pertaining to hate crimes and hate crime prevention. With the supervision and guidance from project coordinators, the programs high school interns collaborate to plan and host the citywide Hate Crimes Prevention Art Contest and the culminating Hate Crimes Prevention Art Exhibit, during which all the art submissions are displayed and the winners are announced.
History of HCPP
In 2007, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the slaying of Vincent Chin, the Organization of Chinese Americans-New York Chapter (OCA-NY) collaborated with Chinatown Youth Initiatives and South Asian You Action (SAYA!) to organize an art contest and exhibition addressing the issues of hate crimes in the community. With the support of Allstate Foundation and OCA National, the Hate Crimes Prevention Project, was founded to engage local youth in hate crime prevention and to empower youth to speak out against hate crimes through art as an activism tool. New York City high school youth submitted drawings and paintings reflecting one of two themes: (1) Melting Pot vs. Mosaic and (2) Not Tolerance but Appreciation. Six high school youth representing CYI and SAYA! formed the steering committee to receive training about hate crimes, delineate contest themes and guidelines, and judge artwork submissions.
In the summer of 2008, CYI continued its collaboration with
OCA-NY, SAYA! as well as the United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset
Park (UPROSE) and the Ana Luisa Garcia Community Center (ALG) for the 2nd
Annual Hate Crimes Prevention Project.
Values of HCPP
The Hate Crimes Prevention Project seeks to engage NYC youth in hate crime prevention. With hate crimes on the rise in New York City, especially since the events and aftermath of 9/11, organizing and mobilizing communities to prevent future hate crimes from occurring is an essential endeavor. Many community organizations and municipal agencies devote countless hours and resources to responding to hate crimes but what is necessary are initiatives that aim to counteract the causes of hate crimes before they even occur. By encouraging the participation of teenage youth, both as contestants and project staff, we hope to raise critical awareness of hate crimes among NYC youth and create avenues for positive, constructive social change.
Central to the Hate Crimes Prevention Project is the development and creative input of our youth interns. Representing a diverse array of ethnic and racial backgrounds and personal, familial, and community experiences, the interns are offered a space for interaction and dialogue rare to NYC high school students. Through workshops and meetings with prominent local leaders, the NYC Hate Crimes Task Force, and political artists, this project emphasized the importance of communication and open discussion in building racial harmony, understanding and respect. Creating these bridges between the youth of different community organizations, between students of different ideas, beliefs and experiences, is itself an integral component of hate crime prevention, as we are able to instill youth with the importance of multicultural coalition building and cross-cultural awareness.
Leadership Sponsoring Organization: OCA-New York Chapter
Liz Ou-Yang, OCA-NY Board Representative
Elizabeth R. OuYang has been a civil rights attorney for 16 years. She was appointed as a special assistant to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2000. She worked as a staff attorney for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund for eight years where she served as the voting rights program lead for the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium. She has also worked at the Disability Law Center in Boston as a staff attorney. She currently teaches at Columbia University's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and represents post 9/11 detainees in immigration court.
Partner Organization: Ana Luisa Garcia Community Center (ALG)
Shaka Williams, ALG Program Coordinator
Shaka is from the East New York district of Brooklyn. He is the youngest of three children. He attended local schools such as P.S. 224, P.S. 273, and I.S. 218. He grew up in an apartment with his parents and older sister. Fortunately, his grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins lived in neighboring public housing developments, so family surrounded him. His mother exposed him to a world beyond East New York, not only expanding his horizons, but allowing him to believe in going further than what he saw in his community on a daily basis. He attended William E. Grady HS and graduated at the top of his class. Shaka then went on to achieve higher education. He graduated from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Africana Studies and he earned a Master of Social Work degree from Stony Brook University, as well. Shaka is interested in promoting financial literacy for underrepresented communities as well as outreach to minority students in favor of higher education. Shaka was recruited from Stony Brook University in 2008.
If you are part of an organization: We are constantly looking for ethnic youth organizations to join this project. If you and your youth organization would like to join our efforts in prevention hate crimes through art, please contact us.
If you are a high school or college student: The program seeks one ALG Coordinator and three ALG interns for this project, which begins in March and ends in August. All positions are paid, but interested individuals must apply for said positions. Interviews may be requested. If interested, please contact us.
Financial Contributions! Due to the recent economic crisis, the Hate Crimes Prevention Project lacked much of the financial backing it received in previous years. To avoid financial difficulties, please consider donating to the Hate Crimes Prevention Project. Your donations will directly impact the success of the upcoming 2014 Hate Crimes Prevention Project and empower a diverse new generation of youth leaders and activists.