Hate Crimes Prevention Art Project

As youth, the most powerful ability that we have is our voice and the freedom to express that voice. Reviewing every single submission that is displayed in this exhibit has taught me that art is an effective medium to show the pain and effects of hate crimes.

– Program Intern

About

For years, Chinatown Youth Initiatives has collaborated with OCA-NY and several youth organizations, such as United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE) and New York State Youth Leadership Council, for the annual Hate Crimes Prevention Art Project (HCPAP), 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 by recruiting student interns to coordinate, develop, and host an annual art competition for their peers across the city.

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 program’s 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

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 Youth 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 Art 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.

Leadership

Sponsoring Partner: OCA New York Chapter (OCA-NY)

Elizabeth R. OuYang, 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.

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