Last Tuesday, September 13, Governor Gavin Newsom announced his five appointments to the Commission on the State of Hate, one of them being Trans Latina activist and community leader, Bamby Salcedo. As the President and Chief Executive Officer of the TransLatin@ Coalition (TLC), Salcedo guides the nationally recognized organization which advocates for Transgender and Gender nonconforming and Intersex (TGI) immigrant women in Los Angeles.
The Commission on the State of Hate was created by legislation that Newsom signed in 2021 and established in the 2022 Budget Act. The commission will be in charge of assessing data on hate crimes in California, providing resources for victims, and making policy recommendations to better protect civil rights.
Salcedo, 53, is one of the two appointees in the commission from Los Angeles. She believes her work with the TLC has equipped her with the right tools to make an impactful influence on this commission and in the overall state of California. In 2021, Bamby visited the White House to speak on the issues of safety, inclusion, as well as opportunities for transgender individuals. Her appointment to the commission will add to her already extended advocacy and expertise resume. She was the HIV and Health Education Services Project Coordinator at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles from 2007 to 2015 and the Transgender Harm Reduction Project Coordinator at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles from 2007 to 2009.
“I’m privileged enough to use my privilege to advocate for members of my community who are not always able to speak up. It’s more of a responsibility and a commitment I have for my people,” she said.
“As a commissioner of the state of California, I want to ensure that members of our communities are included in the work plan that will be developed. There’s certainly more to come and I will continue to push for TGI individuals to be included and supported to be able to change the landscape of our people’s livelihood,” Salcedo told CALO NEWS.
BAMBY SALCEDO, 53, Los Angeles, President and Chief Executive Officer of the TransLatin@ Coalition, She/Her/Ella, Latina
Since 2015, when she took on the President and CEO position at TLC, Salcedo has led the organization through significant wins. One of the most recent: Being one of the 12 recipients of California’s $30 million Transformative Grant program, announced on July 7. The twelve new grants of the program represent the second round of funding, after the $14.3 million (Stop the Hate (STH) Funding) in grants to 80 organizations for hate crimes prevention and intervention services announced this past March.
According to the Governor’s office, after the first round of grants, “the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs (CAPIAA) worked together to identify larger investments with the potential to have an even greater impact in the area of anti-hate services.”
“This new funding will be impactful because it will work towards creating a safer environment and providing help to victims,” said Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting.
Although Salcedo agrees with the impact this grant will have, she prefers to steer away from the word “victim, when referring to individuals who’ve experienced hate-drive incidents“
“We do not see ourselves as victims; we see ourselves as warriors,” she said. “Through our work, we want to empower our communities to not be ashamed of the things that have happened to us or the circumstances that we have gone through, but rather use that to stand up and speak up and contribute to the changes that need to happen in our societies.“
The CDSS allocated the exact amount of $30,338,307 in Transformative Grant funding for a service term of three years, from August 1, 2022, through July 31, 2025.
‘We are very grateful that the CDSS thought that [hate crimes] are an important issue, specifically within the Transgender community,” Salcedo said. “We have always been doing this work, but now there are monetary resources to support us.”
Similar to the first round of grants, the 12 new “Transformative Grants” are also part of Newsom’s 2021 California Comeback Plan, which included an unprecedented $166.5 million of the state’s budget to provide resources and services for hate crime victims and violence prevention programs.
“It comes as no surprise that as the flames of hatred and bigotry have been stoked in our society. Acts of cowardice and violence have increased at an alarming rate,” said Gov. Newsom. “In California, we are investing millions to prevent this hate from taking hold in our communities. We simply will not tolerate intolerance.”
A recent report by the office of California Attorney General Rob Bonta shows that hate crimes have increased by 89% over the past decade. And even though the same report shows that anti-transgender bias events fell from 54 incidents in 2020 to 38 in 2021, hate crime events involving a sexual orientation bias increased by 47.8% from 2020 to 2021.
As a survivor of a hate crime and as the CEO of a Trans-Latina organization, Salcedo has seen firsthand the consequences these have on the Transgender, Gender-nonconforming and Intersex communities. “For us, as Trans women, we are people who walk with targets on our backs; we are constantly verbally and physically harassed, to the point where we get murdered,” she said. “Hate is generated through the conditions that we have within our society which says we are not supposed to exist, that we are not worth it, that we do not deserve health care, those things are what create the hate towards us, and if you are Latina, that creates another layer.”
Similar to the Stop the Hate Funding (STH), the Transformative Grants aim to service populations who have experienced or are at the greatest risk of experiencing incidents of bias and hate crimes through direct, prevention and intervention services.
Direct services include things like mental health and complementary health services, legal services, case management, referrals, wellness and community healing.
Prevention services are those initiatives that include arts-based and other cultural work that deepens understanding and empathy; youth development; senior safety and ambassador/escort programs, individual and community safety planning, and training, including bystander training and other de-escalation techniques.
Intervention services include outreach and training on the elements of hate incidents and hate crimes, services for survivors, and the legal rights of survivors, community-centered alternative approaches to repair harm from hate incidents and hate crimes and coordination with local government and other institutional partners.
TLC focuses on various areas including advocacy and policy, leadership development, and economic and workforce development.
In their advocacy and policy work, they often partner with local and national organizations to change policy both at a state and local level. The leadership development components of the coalition consist of training other TGI individuals to be policy changers and activists in their communities. Their economic and workforce development provides their members with case management, internships, partnerships, resume building, job search assistance, food, transportation, clothing, and skills-building related to entrepreneurship.
“As an organization, we believe it’s important to do multidimensional work. Through this grant, we will be able to support more individuals who are survivors of violence or hate,” Salcedo said.
She mentioned this grant will help various parts of their organization, including one of their most important programs, their Anti-Violence Prevention Program which helps meet the specific needs of TGI individuals who have been survivors of violence by providing comprehensive case management services, victim accompaniment, transportation, and referral. “With this grant, we will be able to hire a case manager who will be able to support these individuals, and provide them with mental health services,” she said.
The TLC also supports immigrants and undocumented people by offering English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, and legal services which focus on supporting TGI individuals exiting immigration detention centers who need legal representation and support.
According to the DCSS’s announcement, selected organizations with a ‘demonstrated track record of anti-hate work with priority populations and capacity for transformative impact were invited to apply for larger funding awards.” Out of the 12 organizations and coalitions, the TLC received the second highest funding with $3,210,144.
For Salcedo, the $3 million towards the TLC is a huge win and hope this is not just a one-time grant. She hopes this funding will impact the lives of many people in Southern California. ”I’m hopeful, hope is what has kept me doing the work and hope is what will carry all of our people and I believe that together we can eliminate hate and have better lives without fears of being who we are,” she said.Since they were founded, the TLC has had 13 years of organizing for TGI lives in the U.S. and serviced more than 4,000 people with its program services. In addition, they have also distributed $500 thousand to TGI people in emergency Covid-19 relief. For additional information on the TLC, their services and upcoming events, you can visit their website HERE or call 1-833-847-2331.