San Francisco City Leaders and Community Partners Launch New "Campaign for Solidarity" to Unite the Entire City Against Hate, Bias and Violence
On April 17, 2021, Mayor London Breed, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC), and community leaders launched a new campaign to unite the Asian American and Pacific Islander, Black, Latinx, American Indian and multi-racial communities against hate, bias, and violence. Launched in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, the “Campaign for Solidarity” is part of the Stand Together SF initiative that has connected over 1,000 residents through six virtual events in the Asian and African American communities for intergenerational discussions and storytelling about shared struggles, successful examples of allyship, and why standing together is important.
“San Francisco is stronger when we are united and work together. We must continue to come together to denounce all forms of hate, bias, and discrimination,” said Mayor Breed. “Through the citywide campaign launched today, we can build the solidarity, respect, and understanding needed to unite our diverse communities and work towards a more just and equitable future for all.”
The Civic Center unity event featured healing spaces, family friendly-activities, and the opportunity to help assemble hundreds of Solidarity Kits. Each Solidarity Kit includes children’s books, family passes to the Asian Art Museum, mental health resources, and public and personal safety information, in addition to cultural items provided by community groups in San Francisco. The Solidarity Kits will be distributed by community partners to residents in Chinatown, Bayview Hunters Point, Tenderloin, Fillmore, and OMI/Lakeview.
“Division between communities isolates and weakens our ability to drive positive change,” said Sheryl Davis, Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. “The pain and hurt in our communities is real and present. We’re hoping our campaign provides space for healing and discussion to unify our city against the escalating violence in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, the impacts of COVID-19 in our Latinx and American Indian community, and the continuing call for social justice in our Black community.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing racial disparities and racially motivated violence. Since the start of the pandemic, Latinx and American Indian communities have experienced a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases across the country. Xenophobic and racist remarks and actions have resulted in an increase in anti-Asian hate incidents nationally, including in San Francisco. According to Chinese for Affirmative Action, there have been 3,795 reported incidents across the country since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. California represents 43% of incidents or 1,186 of the total accounts, and San Francisco has 282 or roughly 24% of all California reported incidents.
“When we stand together in solidarity, we have strength,” said Jon Osaki, Executive Director of Japanese Community Youth Council (JCYC), a Stand Together SF partner organization. “It’s more important than ever that we stop the finger pointing and violence that tears us apart. Today we are coming together to show San Francisco and the country that our communities are united and only together can we make progress towards equity and justice.”
The Stand Together SF initiative was created by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission along with community-based organizations to fight against racism and discrimination. It launched in October 2020 with monthly town hall discussions to bridge racial communities and increase solidarity.
Today’s Campaign for Solidarity kick-off event was hosted in partnership with Mayor London N. Breed, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, City departments, community organizations, and private sector partners including Bi-Rite, Google, United Airlines, and the Golden State Warriors.
For more information about Stand Together SF and the Campaign for Solidarity, please visit: standtogethersf.org.
In light of events taking place across the nation and the world, the San Francisco Arts Commission stands in solidarity with our community, neighbors, family, friends, colleagues and artists.