ACT Against Hate Alliance Marks First Year With Anniversary Awards Event

Student Impact and Milestones in Identifying Solutions Against Hate Crimes

City of Industry, CA (August 17, 2023) – Senator Bob Huff and Mei Mei Ho Huff founded ACT Against Hate Alliance (AAHA) in response to the rise in hate crime attacks in California and beyond. AAHA responded to headlines of violence targeted against hate crime victims by looking for solutions.

“The clear sentiment that we hear expressed over and over again, comes from individuals who are unwilling to stand by silently,” said Mei Mei Huff, Executive Director of AAHA. “The people we recognized today wanted to join with AAHA, seek out the solutions to crimes of hate and implement solutions that will work.”

The goal of the AAHA is to identify the causes behind the rise in hate crime attacks, plus investigate possible solutions to reduce the crime numbers. To accomplish this objective, AAHA brought together experts, thought leaders, and community members from a wide spectrum of professions and areas of expertise.

The AAHA accomplished this by hosting over a dozen programs over the past year. These programs sought the input and solutions from over 40 speakers from across the country and around the world. They identified clear solutions that included education programs, student outreach, social media strategies, law enforcement initiatives, accurate incidence reporting, and victim support.

One of the most notable outcomes of the inaugural year was bringing student voices into the discussion. The students recognized during today’s award ceremony include Aidan Chao, who attends Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada Flintridge. He organized a student chapter of AAHA in his school, which he saw as an important step in addressing hate in his community.

California State University-Fullerton student Nicholas Hernandez also recognized the need for AAHA efforts. He convinced his local community to adopt a resolution opposing hate. The resolution also sought to establish January 28th as Stand Against Hate Action Day.

The actions by Hernandez echoed similar work by California State Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton). He drafted and adopted Senate Constitutional Resolution (SCR) 15, which passed out of the California State Legislature earlier this year.

Today’s program culminated with the AAHA Leadership Award presented to participants who advocated for and worked to implement solutions that addressed hate crimes.

Covina Mayor Walt Allen III

Recipients included California State Treasurer Fiona Ma, State Senator Josh Newman, Covina Mayor Walt Allen III, theater director Carey Perloff, and American Islamic Forum for Democracy founder Dr. Zuhdi Jasser.

Award Recipients:

  • Fiona Ma: California State Treasurer
  • Josh Newman: California State Senator
  • Carey Perloff: Director, Playwright, Educator, Author
  • Dr. Zuhdi Jasser: President and Founder-American Islamic Forum for Democracy
  • Walter Allen III: Director-Rio Hondo Police Academy, Mayor-City of Covina


Student Award Recipients:

  • Aidan Chao: Flintridge Preparatory School
  • David Chan: Sophomore at UC Berkeley
  • Nicolas Hernandez: Sophomore at CSU Fullerton
  • Darren Chan, Junior, Citadel

Darren Chan, Junior, Citadel