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Communities Send a Visible Message Against Hate and Promoting Diversity and Inclusion By Brian Lau, NIOT.org The welcome signs surrounding a city can be important markers signifying much more than its population or city seal. Oftentimes, these signs are used to communicate the beliefs and ideals a community holds and shares. Many communities in the Not In Our Town movement have used welcome signs as a way to more visibly express their...
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 Residents in Brattleboro, VT, Confront the Threat of Hate Violence   By Patrice O’Neill, NIOT.org   It was the worst kind of nightmare for the mother of a biracial high school student.    In June 2008, the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, learned that a racist youth group called NHRN (N---- Hating Red Necks) was active in the local high school. The leader of the group, Larry Pratt, Jr. was arrested after...
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How an Anti-Racist Community Group Evolved from Being a Watchdog to a Partner of Law Enforcement  By Tom O’Mara, Shasta County Citizens Against Racism   The genesis of the Shasta County Citizens Against Racism (SCCAR) was an incident that occurred in the summer of 1988. In Caldwell Park, the major park then in the city of Redding, a black male and white female standing together were targeted. Someone in a vehicle driving by...
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How Ordinary Citizens of Northern Idaho Defeated the Aryan Nations By Tony Stewart and Norm Gissel, Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations   In the 1950’s a small group of religious leaders, fed up with Jim Crow racism, started the modern civil rights movement. They demanded that the promises of the Declaration of Independence and the 14th Amendment, declaring equal protection under the law to all citizens, finally be...
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Lessons from Olympia, Washington By Reiko Callner and Anna Schlecht, coordinators of Olympia, Washington’s Unity in the Community   When hate group activity occurs in a community, it is incumbent upon local residents who value diversity to take action.   Since the early 1980s, Olympia, WA, the state’s politically progressive capital city, has dealt with the threat of neo-Nazi hate groups organizing in the...
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Lessons from Billings, Montana By Margaret MacDonald  Editor’s Note: In the early 1990s, white supremacists groups were growing bolder in their activities in Billings, MT. Hate literature began appearing around town and then members of the Native American and Jewish communities became the targets of a rash of hate crimes. Rather than resigning themselves to the growing climate of hate, a group of community members decided...
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Q & A with Oscar Garcia, San Diego Deputy District Attorney, Hate Crimes Unit   Editor’s Note: Oscar Garcia has been a prosecutor for 24 years, and for the last three years, he’s specialized in hate crime cases in San Diego County. His team prosecutes on average 15 to 20 cases every year. NIOT.org spoke with Garcia about California’s hate crime law, the challenges in doing this work, and the role law enforcement...
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