Community Responses to Hate Groups: Videos | Not in Our Town

Community Responses to Hate Groups: Videos

Gunn High School students sang, Lowell High School students danced, Olympia, Wash. citizens mobilized every facet of the community, and in Newark, Calif., as in Tucson, Ariz., there were angels.

Here at Not In Our Town, we highlight communities standing together to fight hate. In our 15 years of making films, we have documented a number of proactive, creative and peaceful responses to hate groups, including the Kansas hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church (Fred Phelps' family) and white supremacist groups such as Aryan Nations, the Ku Klux Klan and the National Socialist Movement.

In January, we noticed a surge of interest in these anti-hate events and rally videos, particularly after the Westboro Baptist Church threatened to protest the funerals of the Arizona shooting victims, and the Tucson community responded en masse. And not surprisingly, one of our most popular videos on is "Gunn High School Sings Away Hate" which has garnered more than 225,000 views on our YouTube channel. The video was shot in 2010, when the Westboro Baptist Church announced they would picket Bay Area schools and Jewish institutions. The students of Gunn High School, located in Palo Alto, Calif., decided they wanted to affirm their own values.

See the video collection now: Community Responses to Hate Groups.



Bullies derive their power from making people feel small, insignificant and disenfranchised.  When people band together against bullying and raise their voices, it becomes clear that bullies can't win.  Keeping our communication open and loving will engender acceptance and peace, causing the bullies to go home!

This video really shines a light to the difference of tolerance and acceptance.  

As a New Yorker - I am very accepting of people's orientations.  As a New Yorker teaching in Mexico City, Mexico, I have learned that even in this metropolitan city (where gay marriage is legal!), many students are speak outright against homosexuality, some are tolerant with the definition between "we" and "them", and a couple accept.

Like Gunn, I hope my school (and parents) can become a community of acceptance and not just tolerance.

Wow! You have a really wonderful perspective, straddling two cultures in an education context. Here at Not In Our Town we emphasize the difference between tolerance and acceptance -- what do you think it would take for your students who are intolerant to become tolerant, and those who are tolerant to become accepting?

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