Know Hate, or the #HateFreeOC, is an initiative put together by the Orange County Human Relations. They work to address the rise in crimes motivated by bias within Orange County to educate the public on what hate is, who is affected, and why targets are being placed on them. The organization also allows someone who has been affected by a hate crime due to their religion, race, and sexual orientation to learn what they should do and how they should respond. Every year this organization reaches out to the youth of Orange County with a speech and essay contest. This year, the theme was “achieving justice” and several high school students replied, speaking out about what justice truly meant to them. 

We are very proud of our own Slick Magazine staff writer, Amber Juarez, who took on the challenge and gave an inspiring speech about the impact justice has on her. Juarez explained her difficulties growing up in a mainly white society and how challenging it was for her to find her identity. As she said, “[she] was too white for [her] family, but too brown for [her] peers.” Continuing on, Juarez explained how “as human beings, we must advocate for the oppressed and push for change” and that, “together, we can use our own stories and experiences to give a voice to the voiceless. Only then will justice be achieved.”

Juarez ended up placing first in the kNOw HATE High School Youth Speak Contest and will continue to stand up and speak out for what she believes in.