Blog | Not in Our Town


July 28, 2014 - 10:49am
Educators play a key role in fostering a safe, accepting environment in the classroom. Our newest lesson plan uses our new documentary, Waking In Oak Creek, to focus on religious inclusivity and how to teach students about the Sikh religion and accepting others’ beliefs. According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, rates of bullying against Sikh children “range from roughly half to over three-quarters.” Additionally, the Sikh Coalition has found that discrimination and bullying for turbaned Sikhs have increased exponentially since Sept. 11, 2001.
July 25, 2014 - 4:34pm
Swimming Beyond Racism A dedicated swimmer is back in the pool after being the victim of a hate crime five months ago, according to ABC 7 News. Omid, a 15-year-old middle school student from Chicago, heard the words “Hey Persian,” before he was violently attacked by one of his peers. The attacker broke Omid’s collarbone on both sides. Omid worried that he would ever be able to swim again. But, as he recovered, he received a visit from Olympic swimmer B.J. Johnson. The visit gave Omid the confidence to continue doing what he loved. Along with Johnson, community members came together to support his family. “We have all this outpouring of support...that’s what’s really helped,” said Omid’s mother, Melissa Babakhani. “We’re just going to focus on the good.”
July 18, 2014 - 2:03pm
In his recent New York Times op-ed, White, Bigoted, and Young: The Data of Hate, Harvard economist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz analyzes thousands of user profiles on Stormfront, the most popular white supremacist website in the United States. His findings paint a surprising—and disturbing—portrait of who joins a hate forum.
July 18, 2014 - 9:00am
Court of Appeals Upholds Affirmative Action at University of Texas at Austin In a 2-1 ruling, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the University of Texas at Austin can use affirmative action in their admissions decisions, according to Politico. This ruling is a response to a suit filed in 2008 by Abigail Fisher, a white student who opposed the University’s affirmative action program, alleging that it is discriminatory against white applicants from high-achieving high schools. The affirming judges stood by the University’s use of race in a “holistic” admissions process.
July 15, 2014 - 11:05am
The India Community Center (ICC) is hosting a free screening of Waking In Oak Creek on Thursday, July 31 at 6 p.m. in Milpitas, CA.  About Waking in Oak Creek: Waking In Oak Creek (33:00) profiles a suburban town rocked by hate after six worshippers at a Sikh Temple are killed by a white supremacist. In the year following the attack, the film highlights a community and law enforcement working together to overcome tragedy, stand up to hate, and create a safe town for all. The film was produced in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Office as part of the Not In Our Town: Working Together for Safe, Inclusive Communities Initiative. Watch the trailer below.