Art in action against hate

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Artist MariNaomi was recognized by Los Angeles County Board Chair Hilda Solis during the unveiling of her mural last Friday at Garvey Park in Rosemead. George Takei, Yuri Kochiyama, and Grace Lee Boggs are among the Asian American notables depicted in the 60ft by 10ft comic illustration.

The mural depicts the history and many contributions of the AAPI community to LA County, the contemporary targeting of IPA residents due to the COVID backlash, the shift from hate to healing, and the need for advocacy to ensure solidarity and inclusion for all.

The event followed a March 21 motion, drafted by Solis and unanimously passed by the supervisory board, to expand the county’s LA Anti-Hate initiative to combat hatred against Asian Americans. and Pacific Islanders. LA vs. Hate enables LA County residents who have survived hate crimes and incidents to report hate to 211-LA, and connects these residents with a network of local and culturally relevant organizations that provide assistance strategies and of prevention. The graphic novel, using a cartoonist’s approach, was made possible by LA Health Care Plan.

Rosemead Mayor Polly Low was also present at the unveiling; Robin Toma (photo), executive director of the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations; Dr Alex Li of LA Care Health Plan; Otto Solorzano of WDACS (LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services); Michelle Freridge from the Asian Youth Center; and Connie Chung Joe, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

From left to right: Robin Toma, MariNaomi, Hilda Solis, Polly Low, Otto Solorzano

MariNaomi’s comics and paintings have been featured by institutions such as the Smithsonian, De Young Museum, Cartoon Art Museum, Asian Art Museum, and Japanese American National Museum. Visit her website at MariNaomi.com.

The mural can be viewed over the next several months at Garvey Park Gym, 7954 Dorothy St.

Photos of MARIO GERSHOM REYES / Rafu Shimpo

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