ACLU Expands Its "Driving While Black or Brown" Outreach to Asian Community

May 14, 1999 12:00 am

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Friday, May 14, 1999

LOS ANGELES–In an effort to reach those in the Asian community who are victims of racial profiling, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California is now distributing outreach materials translated into several Asian languages, including Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Japanese.

The Asian outreach project differs from the English and Spanish campaign in that there is no hotline available in the Asian languages. Translators who speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog and Japanese will call people directly after a request form and/or a survey has been completed. Request forms and surveys are in their native languages. The ACLU said it hopes to expand the number of languages to include Laotian and Cambodian.

Translated materials are being sent to Asian and Pacific Islander organizations throughout the state. The ACLU’s goal is to include the Asian community in the discussions concerning hate crimes, police harassment and other civil rights issues.

“Too often, Asians and Asian Americans are not seen as people of color who face prejudice and discrimination,” said Kimi Lee, Field Director for the ACLU of Southern California. “We do not want to allow language barriers to perpetuate this type of separation or isolation.”

In addition to supporting California Senate Bill SB78, which would mandate that data on race in police traffic stops be collected and reported by the Department of Justice, the ACLU affiliates in California have set up a toll-free number (1-877-DWB STOP and 1-877-PARA LOS) for people to report incidents.

Recently, the ACLU expanded the campaign beyond the hotline and now has radio ads and billboards in English and Spanish.

The ACLU encourages Asian Americans to call the 1-877-DWB-STOP hotline, or contact their local California affiliate for translated materials.

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