“Evil walked into the church, but love was stronger.” -Parishioner John Bohstedt, who restrained the shooter at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church As a group of children sang for a crowded Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, in Knoxville, Tennessee, an armed man opened fire on the congregation on July 27, 2008. Before the gunman, Jim Adkisson, 58, was tackled to the ground by churchgoers, he fatally shot two people, Linda Lee Kraeger, 61, and Greg McKendry, 60, who witnesses said tried to block Adkisson in order to shield others from harm’s way. Six others were injured in the attack that authorities say was motivated in part by Adkisson’s disdain for the church’s positions.
August 16, 2008 - 9:00pm
May 19, 2008 - 9:00pm
Now in its third year, Palo Alto’s Not In Our School campaign has become a new model for engaging students in learning, conversation, and action against hate, bigotry, and bullying. This spring, Palo Alto elementary, middle, and high school students and teachers took their Not In Our School campaign to new heights. Students and teachers used closed-circuit TV to show Not In Our Town Northern California and the Not In Our Town youth video, took part in a “dissolving stereotypes” activity, created artwork about taking a stand against intolerance and stereotyping, and more.
May 14, 2008 - 9:00pm
Tune in to Independent Lens on PBS this week (May 20) for A Dream in Doubt, an important film by Tami Yeager about the power of courage and hope to overcome hate. In the wave of violence that followed 9/11, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh-American, was fatally shot in a retaliatory hate crime after he was mistaken for an Arab Muslim. A Dream in Doubt tells the story of Rana Singh Sodhi as he struggles to heal from his brother’s murder, find community support, and reclaim his American dream. We encourage NIOT members to organize a community screening of this powerful film. For local listings and PBS broadcast schedule, visit the Independent Lens site. Download resources, discussion and facilitator guides at A Dream in Doubt on PBS.org.
April 9, 2008 - 9:00pm
After NIOT Billings Steering Committee Chair Eran Thompson returned home to Billings after taking part in last year’s NIOT Leadership Gathering, he went home with a renewed sense of mission: to revitalize the NIOT movement in the town where it all began. Thompson, the lead organizer of Montana People’s Action, turned his inspiration into action, and worked with NIOT Billings and the Black Heritage Foundation to host a vibrant, energizing series of Not In Our Town events over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend. The group invited Not In Our Town producers Patrice O’Neill and Rhian Miller to participate in and lead many of the week’s activities, including a Not In Our School Assembly at Laurel Middle School.
March 14, 2008 - 9:00pm
A cold, snowy February evening didn’t stop over 250 Illinois State University students from marching together at a unity rally in response to hate literature found in their community. The students were joined by over 50 members of Laborers Local 362, who wore their hard hats and carried union banners in support. After the march, students and community members rallied at the University Student Union, where ISU Campus president Dr. Al Bowman spoke about the university’s ongoing commitment to diversity, and Not In Our Town: Bloomington-Normal leader Mike Matejka encouraged the marchers to keep the spirit going, and to speak up against everyday acts of intolerance. Watch the Pantagraph News video about the ISU march.