County of Santa Clara’s Division of Equity and Social Justice Awards Community Engagement Mini Grants
Grantee developed a student art contest to promote cultural awareness
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF., – The County of Santa Clara Division of Equity and Social Justice (DESJ) awarded 40 mini grants of up to $2,500 each to individuals, groups, and organizations that developed campaigns to promote cultural understanding and to support those affected by hate and bias.
One of the awardees, Omniware Networks, created an art contest that was open to all Santa Clara County students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The theme of the contest, “Peace, Art, Unity,” encouraged students to depict the value of love and invited them to express their feelings against hate crimes. The student art will be displayed in the breezeway of the County Administration Building at 70 W. Hedding St., San José, from May 10 – May 28.
“Art is a proven and accessible tool for communication and for raising awareness about social justice and equity issues. It affects positive change in a visual, poignant way that most people can connect with during turbulent times,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez. “The mini-grants will help our young, talented artists build a culture of kindness in Santa Clara County.”
“Omniware Networks is a micro-nonprofit organization dedicated to improve community well-being and diversity,” said Fengdi Xu, President of Omniware Networks. “Children are the most valuable assets and our future leaders of community. We are very grateful to have this opportunity to be educated by our children's artwork to learn about their perspectives of, and desire for Peace Love Unity, and their feelings toward hate and bias acts.”
Community members and Community Based Organizations were also awarded mini grants for projects such as Know Your Rights trainings, healing circles, storytelling workshops, cross cultural community events, and art and educational campaigns. All projects share ways to prevent and address hate incidents in Santa Clara County. For a full list of awardees, go to https://desj.sccgov.org/resources-and-reports/community-engagement-mini-grant.
“Over the last two years, we’ve seen a rise in hate-based violence across the nation, especially against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Otto Lee. “As a member of the Board and of the Hate Prevention and Inclusion Task Force, I am proud to have advocated for this anti-hate mini grant program to be established to help educate our community. This is such a tremendous benefit to everyone in our county.”
“Love is the solution to hatred and discrimination,” said Bracher Elementary student Carissa Cheang. “I hope my artwork can inspire people to get more united in our community to fight against hate crime.”
The mini grant project is intended to educate and train community members on methods to prevent hate incidents and hate crimes in Santa Clara County. The project aligns with the County’s mission and core values that focus on healing and understanding of all cultures. Area art projects will be displayed throughout the county during the next six months.
ABOUT THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA
The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, California, making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.