October 3, 2023
LA vs Hate Joins Supervisor Hilda Solis to Unveil New Anti-Hate Mural Honoring the Latino Community
LOS ANGELES – LA vs Hate, LA County’s anti-hate program, revealed a new mural celebrating the Latiné community of Los Angeles at a special event in El Monte. The mural, “Come Walk with Me,” by Kiara Aileen Machado, is one of five murals that are a part of LA vs Hate’s Summer of Solidarity, a public art series that celebrates the diverse communities of Los Angeles. Launched by the LA County Commission on Human Relations in 2020, LA vs Hate is a community-centered program designed to encourage all residents of Los Angeles County to unite against and report hate, as well as support residents who may have been victims of hate motivated acts.
The mural was created in partnership with The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), as well as the offices of LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis and El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona. This mural emerged from a series of community workshops where diverse voices came together through guided explorations of identity. The mural comes at a time when known hate crime events in California–which studies show are underreported–increased over 20 percent, from 1,763 in 2021 to 2,120 in 2022, according to the California Department of Justice. Moreover, recent data collected by 211 LA reported that hate crime events involving a racial bias overall increased over 11 percent, from 1,165 in 2021 to 1,298 in 2022. With this mural and event emphasizing cross-cultural and interracial solidarity, LA vs Hate aims to bring diverse people together through the unifying power of art.
The mural unveiling and dedication ceremony featured speeches from LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Executive Director of the LA County Commission on Human Relations Robin Toma, El Monte City Mayor Jessica Ancona, as well
as CHIRLA Director Of Community Education and Outreach Miriam Mesa. The dedication ceremony also included words from Melinda Polanco, a mother of four who found support from LA vs Hate when one of her children with disabilities faced discrimination. The community celebration that followed the opening remarks and dedication ceremony included family-friendly activities, food, as well as musical and dance performances by Mariachi Herencia Mexicana and Ballet Folklórico La Morenita.
“Celebrating those communities that have received the brunt of hate and discrimination is integral to LA vs Hate’s work in addressing the rise of hate,” said Robin Toma, Executive Director of the LA County Commission on Human Relations. “Public art pieces like this mural can help remind the community that while our people come from all walks
of life, our shared humanity and love of culture, community and comradery unite us, especially in the face of rising hate.”
“I am proud to join today’s mural unveiling and reinforce my continued call on hate having no place here or anywhere in our County,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “It is truly thrilling to see our community of El Monte coming together to celebrate an impactful artwork that speaks to our diversity and to prove that there is strength and
beauty in it.”
“We are a diverse nation, and we benefit from this diversity,” said Miriam Mesa, Director of Community Education and Outreach at CHIRLA. “Hate has no place in a fair and just society, and we all should work hard to combat bigotry and intolerance when it rears its ugly head. Art and creative discourse allows us to foster understanding, tolerance, and
respect while the value for one another flourishes, cementing a strong community.”
“El Monte is proud to unveil this mural today that stands against hate in favor of love and solidarity,” said El Monte Mayor Jessica Ancona. “This beautiful mural reflects the vibrant and diverse communities and cultures that call El Monte home.”
“This mural is a journey through the El Monte community that is inspired by past and present stories of culture, unity, and pride,” said muralist Kiara Aileen Machado. “The mural was shaped by a key metaphor that emerged from community workshops: The unity and affection of El Monte is like the sweetness of ‘pan dulce’ and the warmth of ‘tamalitos’ from Valley Mall, where the mural is situated. Through vignettes of art, commerce, comradery, and of course food, the mural reflects the cross-cultural contributions of and solidarity between the Mexican, Central American and Asian communities that call El Monte home.”
The mural is part of LA vs Hate: Summer of Solidarity, a celebration of the County’s cultural and community diversity and our unity against prejudice, discrimination and bigotry, which will conclude this fall. The series of events includes monthly art-led and community-centered events in each of the county’s five supervisorial districts. Through
partnerships with community-based organizations, the festivities will uplift and celebrate cultural moments and traditions – all to showcase that unity is stronger than hate. The Summer of Solidarity also seeks to remind residents of the County’s hate reporting system, where anyone can report an act of hate and receive free and confidential support
by calling 2-1-1, or by filing a report online at www.LAvsHate.org.
As this initiative continues into the fall, new murals will be commissioned and revealed, celebrating different communities and cultures across the County through partnering with community organizations. In the weeks to come, two additional murals will be revealed, honoring the Black community, as well as the Native and Indigenous community.