This November, Mill Valley joined over 200 communities nationwide in celebrating United Against Hate Week (November 12-18, 2023). Embracing the powerful message, “We reject hate of any kind and believe that building a safer and more equitable world starts by working together,” our city witnessed a week of vibrant activities and meaningful engagement.
Highlights of the Week's Activities
Residents and city staff participated in a series of events designed to promote kindness and unity:
- City Council's Resolution and Staff Report: The week was officially launched following a detailed staff report, outlining the planned activities for the week. The City Council, through a powerful resolution read aloud by Councilmember Max Perrey, declared the week of November 12-18 as United Against Hate Week in Mill Valley.
- Youth Art Initiative: Young residents showcased their artistic talents, interpreting "Kindness in Mill Valley." The art pieces, filled with messages of hope and visions of kindness, culminated in a celebration at the Community Center. The work of Catherine Zhao, a 7th grader at Mill Valley Middle School was highlighted at the Celebration of Kindness Day Reception. (This is the image in the article.) Catherine read her artist statement, sharing that she "folded every paper crane on display, and they represent peace and hope for mankind."
- Celebration of Kindness Day Reception: Hosted at the Mill Valley Community Center, this event brought together community members, including youth, the Mayor and City staff, to honor the young artists and decorate the Center's Kindness Tree.
- Mill Valley Public Library Community Project: The Library’s initiative encouraged residents to share their thoughts on combating hate. These submissions, reflective of our community’s commitment to unity, were displayed prominently.
- Mill Valley Arts and Recreation Kindness Quilt: An intergenerational project was displayed at the Aquatic and Fitness Center, symbolizing our community's collective stand against hate.
Webinars and Educational Events
Several webinars and educational events also marked the week, including:
- The ART of Inclusive Communication and The Bystander Challenge: These online sessions, hosted by the National Conflict Resolution Center, explored inclusive communication and strategies to counteract micro-aggressions.
- "Repairing the World" Film Screening: A powerful documentary, it brought together diverse community members to reflect on the response to hate and building resilience. ()
- "Getting to Know Your Neighbor's Faith": An insightful session by the Marin Interfaith Council, fostering interfaith understanding and dialogue.
- "Our America: Lowballed" Film Screening: This event highlighted the struggles for fair home values faced by Black and Latino families.
- "Casualties of War" Panel Discussion: An evening focused on the experiences and challenges faced by South-East Asian American communities.
The success of United Against Hate Week in Mill Valley sets a precedent for future community engagement. The activities not only highlighted our collective stand against hate but also brought to the forefront the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in building a strong community. Let's continue to stand united against hate, today and every day.