Oregon Justice Department launches “You Belong” campaign

OREGON – Residents across the state could soon be seeing messages against hate as the Oregon Department of Justice Civil Rights Unit kicked off its “You Belong” campaign Monday.

According to the DOJ, the campaign is “a culturally and linguistically inclusive, statewide, multimedia public outreach effort to increase awareness of Oregon’s Bias Response Hotline.”

Six public service announcements will be in English, Mandarin, and Vietnamese as well as social media ads in seven different languages. There will be radio ads, billboards in multiple cities including Medford and a social media influencer campaign.

Following a spike in hate crimes across the state, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum created a task force on hate-motivated crimes in 2018. With the guidance of the task force, Rosenblum championed the passage of SB 577 the following year.

Under SB 577, bias crimes and incidence in Oregon became more defined and resources were established to respond to the rise in hate crimes across the state. It also established the Oregon Bias Response Hotline which was launched in 2020. The confidential, non-emergency line was the first if its kind in the nation. The hotline provides trauma-informed support in over 240 languages.

“Every Oregonian should feel like they belong here, but acts of bias and hatred rob people of that sense of belonging. To anyone who has experienced acts of hatred and bias, you are not alone. You belong.” said AG Rosenblum.

Data from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission shows a 25% surge in reports to the hotline between 2022 and 2023 as well as an alarming 229% increase since its launch in 2020.

“Bias and discrimination inflict enduring wounds on individuals and often disrupt the sense of safety and belonging within entire communities,” said Fay Stetz-Waters, DOJ Director of Civil Rights and Social Justice. “Reporting empowers us all to combat hate. Together, we can cultivate an Oregon culture where bias and discrimination have no place.”

The Civil Rights Unit encourages anyone who has experienced or witnessed discrimination, a bias incident, or hate crime to report to the statewide confidential hotline, especially those who fall under Oregon’s protected classes based on their race, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The Bias Response Hotline provides support and next step options for people targeted in hate crimes or bias incidents. Call or chat with an advocate at 1-844-924-BIAS (2427); all Relay calls accepted; advocates return all messages left after-hours; submit a web report any time at StandAgainstHate.Oregon.gov.


© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Skip to content