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Caruso Law Community Members Attend LA vs. Hate Rally

On Wednesday, March 17, a multi-racial, multi-generational coalition of human rights leaders from agencies across LA County gathered in Los Angeles at a press conference held by LA vs. Hate. Chalak Richards (JD '12), assistant dean of student life and diversity and belonging, and Capri Maddox (JD '01) executive director of the City of Los Angeles Civil and Human Rights Department, were in attendance at the event which was organized to condemn the recent wave of violence against Asian Americans.

Several community leaders took the podium to address the pain and loss caused by recent hate crimes against Asian Americans, including Angelica Salas, executive director of Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights LA. A common message throughout the event was that only through deliberate multi-generational and multi-ethnic coalition-building can we see these types of events end. "We have to stand together in protecting each other's lives," said Salas.

The reporting of hate crimes is essential for making progress toward change, but victims may be reluctant to come forward. "So many have chosen not to share their story whether to the language barrier, cultural stigma, embarrassment, or disillusionment that nothing will be done for them," said Connie Chung-Joe, CEO of the group Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Los Angeles. She noted 211, the LA County hotline, and other resources available to victims on the LA vs. Hate website.

Dean Richards represents Caruso Law as a community partner of LA vs. Hate, an information campaign led by the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission that was created in the summer of 2020. Through this collaboration, Caruso Law alumni and students can provide legal support and help facilitate restorative justice community mediations.

"Pepperdine Caruso Law stands against the recent violence and hate directed at members of the Asian American community," says Richards. "There is no place for racism against our Black, Asian American, and LatinX neighbors."

Especially at times like these, the Pepperdine community is here to support our students, faculty, and staff. In response to the recent crimes, Pepperdine University will hold a prayer service and vigil at noon–Members of the community are invited to attend online. Caruso Law's student affinity groups include the Pepperdine Multicultural Coalition and a chapter of Asian Pacific American Law Student Association; more information about these groups can be found here. Counseling and pastoral services are available through the Counseling Center–visit our Wellness Resources page for more information. Alumni and students interested in supporting the efforts of LA vs. Hate can contact Dean Richards. View Wednesday's full press conference here.