Eastern Oregon: Wayne Inman, the former Billings, Montana police chief who helped change the way law enforcement responds to hate crimes, shared his experience with a group of students and community groups in Eastern Oregon recently.
This year, Fishtrap, an Eastern Oregon literary organization, chose To Kill A Mockingbird for their 2010 The Big Read, an annual community-wide reading series which also pairs the selected book up with film screenings. Not In Our Town I: The Orginal Story was one of the films selected for Big Read community screening, and Wayne Inman, who is featured in the film, was invited to come speak to the audience.
In addition to the community screening and presentation, Inman also spoke at Enterprise High School to 100 junior and high school students, who had all been shown the documentary in class beforehand.
“I had never given my Billings experience presentation to a school-age audience before and I wondered if I would be able to adapt my talk to that age level, but I found that they really understood the issues, and personally I was amazed by the close attention I was given and the very adult questions they asked,” Inman said.
“In his presentation to the students, “ remarked Fishtrap Executive Director Rick Bombaci, “Wayne was very forthright, talking about all of the groups who are targeted, including gays and lesbians, and the fact that he looks like a classic rancher with the boots and the belt buckle gives him credibility.”
“It was a very rewarding experience,” says Inman, “After one of the presentations, a student came up to me and said, 'nobody knows, but my brother is gay. Thank you.'”
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