California State Library Awards Additional $8.1 Million in Grants to Ethnic Media Outlets

The California State Library just announced the winners of its Stop the Hate (STH) initiative and for the second time, India Currents received $100,000 in funding to continue our work as a trusted ethnic media outlet implementing the STH campaign.

The STH initiative aims to raise awareness of new or expanded resources available for survivors of hate crimes and incidents when addressing the rise in hate incidents against minority communities.

Rise in hate crime

According to the 2022 Hate Crime in California Report released by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, crimes targeting victims because of their race or ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or disability increased nearly 33% from 2020 to 2021 and then an additional 20% from 2021 to 2022. As recently as March 2023, three Black Santa Monica residents were brutally assaulted by a man yelling racial slurs.

“It’s important that multilingual communities know we, as a state, are taking steps to address hate. Our investments in victim services and violence prevention programs say we see them and are prioritizing their needs. Partnerships with trusted ethnic media outlets help us get the word out about the new or expanded resources available,” said Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).

India Currents combats hate

In the last year and a half, India Currents’ ‘We Belong’ STH project has created culturally relevant narratives and outreach to increase awareness of the STH initiative. We established a Stop the Hate vertical on our website, publishing over 24 stories on hate crime incidence and how to respond to them. We also published positive stories of interracial interactions and hosted Navarasa, a poetry reading with diverse poets. Our team is currently developing a community forum for immigrant South Asian seniors at the India Community Center.

Ethnic media awards

This $8.1 million is the second round of funding in the Ethnic Media Grant Outreach Program. India Currents is one of 62 media outlets selected this year by California State Library in an overall award of $8.1 million in grants for the Stop the Hate Program, administered by the California Department of Social Services. In May 2022, India Currents was a recipient of the first round of awards when the State Library awarded nearly $6 million in grants to 50 ethnic media outlets and collaboratives.

“Ethnic media outlets serve millions of Californians, acting as a lifeline to the state’s diverse communities,” said California State Librarian Greg Lucas. “Strengthening them helps all communities better respond to hate incidents and crimes.”

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash