SANTA ANA — The nonprofit OC Human Relations has elected Laguna Hills CPA Ken Inouye to a two-year term as the president of the Board of Directors.
Inouye is a Huntington Beach resident who, prior to joining the board, was appointed to the county’s Human Relations Commission, where he served as a representative of the Orange County Board of Supervisors for 23 years, including various leadership roles.
Inouye began his human relations work after he became aware of hate crimes that were being perpetrated against members of his Japanese American community. His outrage was turned to action and he set upon a journey to bring together all victims of hate crime and the good folks of Orange County to eliminate hate crime. An effective advocate, Inouye also has the diplomacy to work will all people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or other arbitrary aspects of their being.
After a hate crime murder followed by a near murder within a year, he worked with the Huntington Beach City Council and Police Department to lead a newly created Huntington Beach Human Relations Task Force, which continues today.
Inouye was especially proud of the fact that the City Council recognized various pride months, including Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. He felt this was indicative of his vision for an Orange County where all people are safe, valued and included.
He has long been involved in various local civic organizations and served a term as the national president of the Japanese American Citizens League, the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States, as well as governor of JACL’s Pacific Southwest District.
Inouye takes over as the board president at a time when OCHR is expanding its Restorative Schools Program (which provides alternatives to suspension and gives students a powerful way to take responsibility for their choices), continuing to partner with the County of Orange on the #HateFreeOC Campaign, and welcoming a new CEO, Alison Edwards, after the retirement of founder Rusty Kennedy.
“I am quite honored and excited to be a part of an organization (the OCHR Council) that strives to build intergroup relations at such a significant time in the history of Orange County as we strive to build an Orange County where all are valued and treated with respect,” Inouye said.
OC Human Relations Council, established in 1991 as a nonprofit, fosters mutual understanding among residents and eliminate prejudice, intolerance and discrimination in order to make Orange County a better place for all people to live, work and do business. The organization brings people together to create safe and inclusive schools and communities, develop diverse leaders and mediate conflict. The council is contracted by Orange County to collect, track, report, and respond to hate crimes. It provides support for victims of hate crimes and trainings for community, educators and law enforcement to increase the accuracy of reporting and decrease the number of hate-related crimes and incidents.
To report a hate crime that has occurred in Orange County, or to learn more, call (714) 480-6570 or visit www.ochumanrelations.org/hatecrime. Connect with the council on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ochumanrelations or follow it on Twitter @ WeAreOneOC.