Bystander to Upstander: Stand Up to Hate and Intolerance

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Bystander to Upstander: Stand Up to Hate and Intolerance 
By City of Irvine Mayor Farrah N. Khan 

Irvine is one of the most diverse and fully integrated communities in the United States. We are a multicultural family with a celebrated past and a bright future. We value and cherish our diversity. 

Earlier this year, the Irvine City Council unanimously approved a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative and launched a community unity campaign known as We Are Irvine.  

These efforts are meant to help promote Irvine as a safe and welcome place, where all our residents are able to work, live, and thrive with kindness, patience, and compassion. 

There is no room for hate or intolerance in Irvine — I want everyone to understand that. We as a City will do everything we can to provide an environment that celebrates our cultural heritage while combating intolerance and hate. We must all work together toward finding common ground today and for future generations. 

Particularly in light of the recent increase in hate crimes and incidents toward American Asian Pacific Islander communities across the nation and here in Orange County, it is important for us to continue to be proactive in supporting the needs of our community and educate the public that there is no place for discrimination or hate in Irvine. 

We all need to be catalysts to create a paradigm shift that embraces diversity and inclusion in Irvine, Orange County, California, and beyond. As one of many efforts to facilitate this, the City of Irvine is offering a virtual Upstander Training in partnership with the Orange County Human Relations Commission. The training seeks to empower people to address and prevent harassment and do something to stop the hate because silence is dangerous — it communicates approval. To register, visit 

My City Council colleagues and I are doing everything we can to protect our residents and businesses, and we will fight hate and intolerance in every way possible to ensure our community is protected and cared for, while simultaneously celebrating cultural diversity more than ever. 

To our Asian American and Pacific Islander community members, please know that you are not alone. I understand in these challenging times you may not feel safe or protected, but please recognize that you have friends and supporters that are ready to help. Do not be afraid to speak up — we are here to support you. 

I encourage everyone in our community and beyond to help stop hate and intolerance — and to not only say something if you see something, but do something, step up and put a stop to these unacceptable acts. I invite our residents to be the upstanders — and help make our City a place that celebrates and reveres diversity and inclusion.