ARTS DISTRICT, LOS ANGELES – It started as a movement in response to hate crimes against their Asian American community sparked by fears and misinformation surrounding Coronavirus.
Two years later, Hate Is A Virus – co-founded by Michelle Hanabusa and Tammy Cho – is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and growing community that has reached more than 5 million impressions via the efforts of its community advocates and leaders, and countless others.
That activism earned Hanabusa and Cho the distinction of being recognized as the Rams' third community pLAymaker honorees. They were surprised with a $5,000 check from The Los Angeles Rams Foundation last week.
"To be in community with everybody across the nation, as well as our local community, and to see everyone come together, whether it's to fundraise for different organizations, whether it's to create spaces just to learn from each other and have dialogue, it's just been such an honor to be able to be in community with with everyone," Cho said. "And so being a playmaker, I think, is a testament to the fact that our community is making some progress and being able to continue this movement."
Hanabusa said being a pLAymaker isn't just her and Cho in this movement – it takes everyone coming together to see change, and they've seen how powerful it is when that happens.
"I think it's just a testament to our community, and all of the moving pieces that are happening right now, for us to feel hopeful for the future and to seek the change that we want to see," Hanabusa said.