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Why a Walk Against Hate

2023 Ventura County Walk Against Hate

February 26, 2023

ADL's Walk Against Hate: is not just a walk – it’s a diversity festival, an opportunity to move as an individual, family or community toward a future without racism, antisemitism and all forms of bigotry.

This is the chance for community organizations, school groups, families and businesses to unite against hate while sharing experiences from their backgrounds and ethnicities that enrich Ventura County. The afternoon will begin with a diversity festival, followed by a walk to celebrate solidarity in action.

In the past year, Ventura County has experienced a troubling rash of bigotry and hate incidents. In February and March, a group of White Supremacists hung hateful banners over the 101 Freeway in Newbury Park. In June, hateful anti-LGBTQ+ graffiti was sprayed on the walls of a Newbury Park elementary school and virulently antisemitic flyers were distributed in Moorpark and Thousand Oaks neighborhoods. In July, a sign welcoming the LGBTQ+ community was vandalized at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks. Disturbing hate crimes and hate incidents have been reported, particularly targeting people of color, in person and online, and many schools are struggling with an unprecedented rise in racial slurs and bullying on their campuses.

ADL has long advocated that the appropriate response to hate incidents is a combination of communal condemnation and engagement. Condemnation is most effective when diverse and widespread, and it helps when both condemnation and engagement occur as part of a positive community vision of inclusion rather than simply in response to a particular incident.

With the rising tide of hate in Ventura, the time is right to bring our community together as we declare that Ventura County is No Place for Hate.