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Manhattan Beach Families Mobilize Against AAPI Hate

Apr 19, 2021 11:42AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Manhattan Beach families are standing up against recent hate crimes against the Asian American/Pacific Islander community.

An effort led by two Manhattan Beach residents will culminate on April 24 with driveway messages and window signs across town showing statements of compassion and solidarity.

Manhattan Beach resident and co-coordinator Madeline Kaplan said she was inspired to stand up after hearing about experiences that her friends and neighbors encountered.

"After learning that my neighbor grocery shops for a South Bay friend who is fearful to leave her home after being harassed with anti-Asian slurs, and that two other friends feel anxious while doing the activities they would normally think nothing of, I realized our Manhattan Beach Asian American and Pacific Islander community needs to know their neighbors stand with them against Asian hate," said Kaplan. "By writing messages of solidarity and compassion in our driveways, it is our hope that our neighbors and friends out on walks will feel supported knowing that hate is not welcome here in Manhattan Beach."

The campaign is encouraging Manhattan Beach families to share the following messages of support (adapted from the LA vs. Hate campaign) on their driveways and in their windows on April 24:
  • Stand Together Against Asian American Hate
  • I Stand with Asian Americans/ Our Family Stands with Asian Americans
  • End Violence Against Asians
  • Stop AAPI Hate
  • Manhattan Beach vs. Hate
  • Hate Not Tolerated Here
  • Everyone Deserves Respect
On social media, the hashtags include #StopAsianHate, #MBAgainstHate, and #StopAAPIHate.

Movement Gathers Momentum in Manhattan Beach and Beyond

After deciding to take action, Kaplan teamed up with her neighbor Emma Hite for initial planning.
Kaplan reached out to the Manhattan Beach Police Department with her concerns, and then got more information from the city of Manhattan Beach about the LA vs Hate campaign and Manhattan Beach's United Against Hate Week proclamation issued in November. The city has partnered with LA vs. Hate and created a MB vs. Hate campaign - and is continuing to work with Kaplan.

MBUSD school board member Jason Boxer also offered early support in the planning process and connected Kaplan with fellow Manhattan Beach resident Diana Skaar.

"As a Thai-American who has experienced racism from as early as elementary school, the death of Vicha Ratanapakdee really struck a chord. He could have been my dad," said Skaar. "But like many Asian-Americans, I internalized that pain because we have been raised to keep our heads down and not make noise. In that silence, I've thought a lot about the healing power of ally-ship. It has made me realize how something as simple as a message of support - with no expectation to respond back - can mean the world."

Skaar continued, "I was incredibly thankful when I got connected to Madeline who wanted to organize this sidewalk chalk campaign to spread messages of love and support throughout our community."

The team has since received pledges of support from across Manhattan Beach and beyond - even from as far away as Oregon.

Some Manhattan Beach residents who plan to be out of town on April 24 have promised to leave signs in their driveways before they leave. One Manhattan Beach resident plans to leave out chalk on her driveway so that all neighbors can participate.

"When you ask people in Manhattan Beach to take a stand against hate, they show up," said Kaplan. "Based on the positive responses we are getting from our efforts, we expect that will be the case April 24th. I am getting emails like, 'I love everything about this event!'" 

The effort has since gotten support from Congressman Ted Lieu. Organizers are also seeking to have the city of Manhattan Beach approve a resolution denouncing AAPI hate, similar to efforts taken in Torrance, Irvine, Glendale, Los Angeles, and more.

For questions, contact Madeline Kaplan at [email protected] or Diana Skaar at [email protected]. For more info and GIFs for social media, visit or

Video Introducing Manhattan Beach Campaign Against AAPI Hate

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