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Morning Brief: #StopAsianHate, The Chinatown Firecracker, And Golfing At Dodger Stadium

Portraits of Asian victims attacked during the pandemic light up the night sky at Times Square.
An animated picture of Michelle Go is displayed in Times Square during an evening vigil for the 40-year-old woman who was pushed to her death on the subway tracks.
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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Getty Images North America)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Jan. 25.

It’s rare to hear an artist — or anyone, for that matter — say they’d like their work to be rendered unnecessary. But Jonathan Chang, whose portraits of people of Asian descent who’ve been the victims of hate crimes have gone viral, said that’s the only conceivable end to his #StopAsianHate project.

“I don't really care who's doing it,” Chang said of focusing on the victims rather than the perpetrators. “I just want it to stop.”

Chang’s portraits, which fall into the sweet spot between cartoon-ish and true-to-life, began after the death of 84-year-old Vichar Ratanapakdee, who was violently shoved to the ground in San Francisco last year. When Chang expressed his sorrow and outrage, a friend suggested he channel it into something productive.

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“We all kind of have some sort of responsibility to use our skills to enact positive social change or document things or raise awareness,” he told my colleague Josie Huang.

Chang’s art has recently been featured on billboards in New York’s Times Square, and he used his images to raise money for Xiao Zhen Xie, the 75-year-old Chinese woman who fought back against her assailant on San Francisco’s Market Street last March.

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He said that it isn’t always easy to be outspoken, but that he believes it’s the only way things will change.

“As Asian Americans, we don't like to have the whole model minority myth,” Chang said. “But by not speaking up about it, you’re really falling into that.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

  • The Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker 5K/10K Run will be a virtual DIY affair this year due to pandemic concerns. 
  • State Sen. Richard Pan will introduce legislation to add the coronavirus vaccine to the list of shots students must take in order to attend public or private schools.
  • A $13.5 million donation to UCLA will allow the university to build a new institute devoted to addressing global food challenges.

Before You Go ... This Week's Outdoor Pick: Golfing At Dodger Stadium

Dodgers Stadium is shown from the ground level, with the players lined up along the first base line. The Dodgers' LA logo is painted into the grass behind home plate. It is dusk and the stadium's flood lights are on.
A general view during player introductions before game one of the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets at Dodger Stadium on October 9, 2015 in Los Angeles.
(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
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Getty Images North America)

It’s a Father’s Day card come to life: hit golf balls from the concourse level of Dodger Stadium down to the field. There will also be food and drinks and music, and tee times are available in one-hour increments. Bays accommodate six people at a time.

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Or, you could: Watch a Nanfu Wang virtual retrospective. Hear from Spirit Award-nominated filmmakers in a Film Independent conversation series. Eat your way across the LBC for Long Beach Black Restaurant Week. And more.

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