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Not In Our Town

It’s hard not to cry, or feel like you’ve been punched in the gut while watching the ten minutes of horrendous bullying and harassment that Upstate New York grandmother and school bus monitor was subjected to by a group of middle school students. 
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.” Although he still feels physical and emotional pain from the incident, Omid is swimming once again. “It affected me, but I am strong enough to get over it,” he said. Read the full story here.
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.  Oak Creek Excerpt from Not In Our Town on Vimeo.
Not In Our Town Executive Producer Patrice O'Neill appeared on NewsRadio 104.9 FM's Gulf Coast Morning and talked about Not In Our Town's vision as well as some upcoming events including the 2014 National Leadership Gathering and the Gold Star Cities project. Gulf Coast Morning is broadcast out of Biloxi, Missouri. Hosts Mike and Steve discussed Not In Our Town's history, strategies for fighting hate, and the importance of uniting communties to start their own Not In Our Town campaigns.  Listen to the full interview with Patrice O'Neill below!  
Not In Our Town Community Engagement Director Michelle Gahee Kloss appeared on WBGTV's North West Ohio Journal and talked to host Steve Kendall about the great work that Not In Our Town Bowling Green is doing.
“This is our moment for healing. We all stand here, we all sit here as a school, as a community.” UCSB students gathered for a candlelight vigil on Saturday, May 24 2014 Photo Credit: University of California Santa Barbara   The Isla Vista community in Santa Barbara has come together after the shooting rampage last week that took the lives of six students and injured 13 other people. Memorial shrines with flowers, messages, candles and photos were placed at the scenes where the violence was perpetrated, according to UCSB’s student newspaper, The Bottom Line. A candlelight vigil was held at the school on Saturday, May 24.
Addressing & Eliminating Labels “Do not define me by my clothes or the color of my skin”. These are the words that begin a powerful video titled, Labels. The video, created by Maneetpaul Singh, is a creative project featuring people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds, wearing a stereotype or label written on a piece of tape, covering their mouths. The video featured labels like “know it all,” “shy,” “prep,” and “terrorist,” among others. The opening and closing lines are from the poem that inspired Singh to embark on this project, written by Singh’s friend Bani Ahuja. The video ends with a woman, burning a piece of tape with the words “insert label here,” and the final words of the poem are narrated:   So take this label that I wear, Let it burn into the air, I am not the words that you assign, There’s so much more that meets the eye. Watch Maneetpaul Singh's video here.  
Not In Our Town was honored to participate in an extremely informative webinar addressing the challenges of prosecuting hate crimes and the important interplay between hate crime victims, law enforcement, and the greater community.
NIOT.org, the digital home of Not In Our Town's films and resources as well as our community, school and law enforcement programs, just got a new look!  
Young community leaders gather for a photo at the 2006 Not In Our Town National Gathering. Photo by Jackson Hill.   Standing up to build hate-free communities is challenging work. The Not In Our Town National Leadership Gathering is an opportunity for community members and leaders to learn the concrete steps to build a diverse, thriving town. In this session, you will learn solutions needed in all communities: Turn apathy and complacency into energy Keep coalitions proactive Pass on the knowledge of veteran leaders turn them into mentors for youth Get civic and business leaders to join in community-based efforts Bring school boards on board to change school climate Understand and communicate the impact of hate incidents and bullying Turn your police department into hate-prevention leaders