Charlottesville has shaken the nation. Here at Not In Our Town we have been working with communities to stop hate for two decades. Preventing hate violence and addressing racism and bigotry requires a long term commitment. But you can start with simple actions.
1) Make Your Values Visible
Print this poster and display it in your window, school, business, workplace.
2) Talk about how to stand up to hate with your children, family and friends.
How does racism and bigotry manifest in our everyday lives? How can we find the courage to speak up and take action? Don’t make it a one time conversation.
3) Take the Pledge to Stop Hate in Your Community
Take the pledge online and/or print it and circulate it to your network and community. Urge your city, school, community and faith groups to sign on and share. Then, make it real.
4) Start a Not In Our Town Group or connect with a group in your community.
Host a screening of a Not In Our Town film to begin the conversation about who is vulnerable to hate and how to do something about it.
5) Stand Up to Hate Groups
Hold teach-ins, events, and work with the media to show your stand against hate. Avoid direct confrontations with hate groups, this often leads to violence. You can make your opposition visible to the media and community but don't try to be in the same place at the same time.
Many communities have already experienced neo-Nazi or white supremacist rallies and threats. NIOT draws on years of experience from communities who have faced hate groups, successfully avoided violence and galvanized their towns to spread a broad based message resisting hate and supporting unity and inclusion.
It starts with each one of us taking a step. If we all stand up together, we can change our workplace, our schools, our community, our country. We can stop hate together.
To go deeper, here's what you can do:
- Hold teach-ins, events, and work with the media to show your stand against hate:
- Avoid direct confrontations with hate groups, this often leads to violence. You can make your opposition visible but don't try to be in the same place at the same time.
- Reach out and support impacted individuals and their communities:
- Listen to the concerns of those impacted, assist with their needs, and respect requests for privacy;
- Send letters and messages that show you care;
- Encourage all residents to stand with their neighbors.
- Engage the entire community:
- Partner with local community organizations. Reach out to organizations that support targeted groups to learn how to offer support;
- Organize community gatherings, for example:
- Screen a Not In Our Town film to open dialogue and discuss action steps. Find films and discussion guides at: niot.org/videos;
- Hold a thoughtfully facilitated town hall meeting to elicit and address community concerns, allow people to share and seek solutions;
- Sponsor interfaith events and community service projects to support impacted communities targeted by hate;
- Use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms to engage and update the community;
- Hold public officials accountable:
- Inform them of hate activity in the community;
- Ask them to listen to and engage with concerned citizens;
- Encourage them to join efforts, rapidly respond to community concerns, and denounce hate.
- Contact local media urging them to cover your community actions. Make a public statement rejecting intolerance with community members and leaders who may be vulnerable to hate;
- Arrange a press conference when appropriate;
- Write Op Ed pieces and letters to the editor;
- Avoid the spread of rumors and misinformation.
- After the incident:
- Continue to reach out to impacted community members and organizations;
- Develop a plan for ongoing collaboration and activities to promote healing;
- Initiate or strengthen prevention activities.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates. Check back for updates on how people in Charlottesville and communities across the U.S are standing up to hate. Become part of the NIOT community and get updates on effective local actions.