California recently awarded $91 million in grants to local organizations that help prevent hate crimes or support survivors, part of an unprecedented effort to combat hate in a state that saw a 20% increase in such crimes in 2022.
Despite its progressive reputation, California last year reported steep increases in hate crimes against transgender people (up 55%), Muslims (up 39%) and Black people (up 27%), according to the Attorney General’s office.
That growth outpaced similar hate growth trends in 42 major cities, according to a soon to be released study by Cal State San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
The state’s latest Stop the Hate grants bring its non-law enforcement anti-hate spending to more than $200 million since 2021, more than any other state, advocates say.
California originally created the Stop the Hate grants in response to a surge in anti-Asian hate incidents reported during the Covid-19 pandemic. The coalition Stop AAPI Hate has documented more than 11,000 such incidents nationwide since 2020.
Gov. Newsom signed the Asian Pacific Islander Equity budget in 2021 funding the grants at the urging of the state’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus. Early grants primarily went to organizations serving that community.
The state broadened its most recent round of grants to fund organizations that reflect California’s diversity, said Manjusha Kulkarni, executive director of AAPI Equity Alliance, the lead organization distributing grants in the Los Angeles region. (The California Department of Social Services awards the grants.)
California’s declining Black population may have depressed the number of Black-led organizations applying for and receiving funding, Kulkarni said.