Our initiatives to address anti-Asian hate

Asian Language Helpline for Victims

As evidenced by a major uptick in inquiries, many individuals from the AAPI community are experiencing a variety of challenges related to the increase in anti-Asian discrimination since the start of the pandemic, and particularly in the first quarter of 2021 after several widely publicized hate crimes throughout the country. 
 
In March 2021, our Asian Language Legal Intake Project (ALLIP) helpline fielded nearly 1,100 calls from community members, a 60% increase compared to the same time last year.  Advancing Justice – LA's ALLIP helpline continues to field calls, offering the widest variety of AAPI languages in the region, and provide translation and interpretation services for clients of Advancing Justice – LA and our partner organizations.  
 
Advancing Justice - LA provides free victims and legal assistance in Southern California through a program team of 10 attorneys and community legal advocates with fluency in six AAPI languages and English. Through toll-free helplines in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, and English, victims who have experienced discrimination can reach out to a legal advocate for help. Guidance, advice, and legal representation is offered, as appropriate. Our legal intake hotline fields nationwide calls and offers internal and external referrals to legal assistance and other supportive services to residents of Southern California, focused on Los Angeles and Orange Counties.   
 

Housing Clinics

The rise of anti-Asian hate has permeated housing security where many AAPI tenants are facing racial amicus, leading to evictions and other cases of unjust discrimination. To address this, we are hosting monthly legal clinics with in-house staff attorneys and pro bono attorneys who provide AAPI-language legal assistance in the following areas:  

  • Client interviews 
  • Counseling and advice on case response 
  • Assistance with drafting demand letters
  • Assistance with completing housing-related complaints to government agencies
  • Assistance with pro per answers or other court filings
  • Court representation
The housing clinics offer support in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, focusing on low saturation areas in Orange County where there is a high AAPI population, but very few legal assistance services. We provide community and client outreach through educational webinars, local ethnic media, and local government organizations such as the Korean Consulate General and our multiracial/multiethnic community partners. 
 
Our free legal aid clinics have the capacity to serve 250 cases annually and are staffed with attorneys experienced in housing rights and eviction defense. The current case volume is comprised of clients facing:  
  • Landlord harassment; 
  • Tenant rights issues;
  • Problematic living conditions;
  • Habitability issues;
  • Questions regarding rental assistance programs; 
  • Complex cases that involve anti-Asian discrimination are referred to our Impact Litigation team for counsel on additional legal action.  

Once the moratorium on evictions is lifted on June 30, 2021, the demand for free in-language legal services is expected to increase by 2x. In anticipation of this influx, our attorneys continue to train a cadre of pro bono attorneys who are ready to support expanded clinics.  

 

 

 

Victims Advocacy

 
The Victims Advocacy project assists victims in securing: mental health counseling, housing, general relief and disability benefits, food access, medical benefits, and referrals for more complex legal assistance through our Impact Litigation team and legal aid partners. We are working closely with our network of nine AAPI-focused CBO partners to provide victims of anti-Asian hate with additional legal aid, healthcare, and counseling resources.  
 
Through the Victims Assistance project, we are monitoring news media, online hate trackers, coalition listservs, and cases from partner organizations for incidences of anti-Asian discrimination. Our Civil Rights Victims Advocate proactively reaches out to victims to gather information on the situation, work with department staff to diagnose legal matters, determine appropriate level of action, and provide counsel/advice to help clients navigate legal and non-legal matters.  

Bystander Intervention Training

Advancing Justice – LA partners with nonprofit Hollaback! to officially launch our first-ever bystander intervention training program the week of May 17. Hollaback! has been a well-established expert in bystander intervention training for many years and has a history of working with our Chicago and D.C. affiliates. Advancing Justice – LA is working to tailor these trainings to speak to not just to the overall Asian American experience, but also to consider experiences specifically in the southern California region in the face of this spring’s uptick in anti-Asian hate incidents.  
 
Participants will undergo a one-hour interactive training to learn specific tools and strategies on how to intervene on behalf of others who are targets of harassment, disrespect, and other racist attacks, as well as how to prioritize their own safety while intervening. Each one-hour training has a limited 500-person capacity and is free and open to the public; as we expand our capacity, we will aim to provide trainings in Asian languages and to community members who identify as first-generation immigrants and/or elderly. We expect to offer 35 free virtual workshops and to educate 8,000-10,000 community members and allies through the end of 2021.  
 

In conjunction with our virtual bystander intervention trainings, Advancing Justice – LA released an animated public service announcement video in May, narrated by actor/comedian/physician Ken Jeong, and features the iconic work of award-winning illustrator James Yang. This PSA introduces and educates viewers on safe intervention as a way of taking action” - the video encourages the public to play a role in keeping their communities safe by using the ‘5 D’s’ of bystander intervention that are taught in our training sessions. To inform as many community members as possible, these videos will be distributed in English and 5 Asian languages, with the goal of reaching 200,000 people and 25 million media impressions.  
 
This PSA will be one of several in a series of public communications and awareness campaigns aimed at highlighting stories to spread awareness and promote Advancing Justice - LA’s programs and services for those who have experienced anti-Asian hate. Advancing Justice – LA is also increasing ethnic media relations, advertising in multiple Asian languages through broadcast, print, and social media to ensure that communities are being reached in-language from sources they trust. Advancing Justice-LA plans to disseminate PSAs geared towards raising awareness and counter-messaging against harmful rhetoric. Spread the word about our PSAs and reshare the information by following us on social media.  
 

 

Multicultural Youth Event

 

In June 2021, Advancing Justice - LA will host its first Multicultural Youth Voice Event, focusing on bringing together AANHPI, Black, and Latinx youth in a shared conversation about community issues. Advancing Justice - LA believes that the key to addressing equity and violence issues like that of anti-Asian discrimination, anti-Blackness, and anti-immigrant/xenophobia is to create community, solidarity, and support those directly impacted in sharing their stories.  
 
Our event will focus on how together, Latinx, Black and AANHPI youth can learn how to use different social media platforms and art-based strategies to address community issues in a positive and affirmative way. This event will be hosted in partnership with several organizations, including Central American Resource Center, Community Coalition, and Brotherhood Crusade.  
 
Advancing Justice – LA regularly partners with local community-based organizations representing various minority groups (e.g., Black, Latinx, LGBTQ, etc.) who have the expertise and trust of different communities to create a multicultural infrastructure working to address racism and discrimination. We often work with a wide network of partners, with 11 different organizations, such as MALDEF and Los Angeles LGBT Center. We also often provide subcontracted grants to other local CBOs to share expertise and build strength towards a common goal; we currently have 21 subgrantees.  
 

 

Know-Your-Rights Resource Cards

 

In coordination with Asian Pacific Planning Council (A3PCON) and the LAPD, Advancing Justice - LA will help develop a resource card, in a variety of Asian languages, with culturally specific resources, and information on how to report hate incidents. These Know-Your-Rights resource cards will be used by LAPD Officers to be distributed to individuals and communities and provide additional support to victims and bystanders. In addition, Advancing Justice - LA will work with LAPD to address the urgent need for better investigation of, and reporting of hate crimes, with disaggregated data. This is a step towards bridging that gap, and partnerships between trusted community-based organizations and the police are key to ensuring that our community members can get access to the help they need, especially in the face of harassment and discrimination. 

 

 

 

 

HELPLINES

Advancing Justice-LA Advancing Justice-LA's helplines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: discrimination, family, immigration, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights. 

English: 888.349.9695
中文: 800.520.2356
한글: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ภาษาไทย: 800.914.9583
Tiếng Việt: 714.477.2958

 

Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.