To families and friends who have lost someone to hate and gun violence, please know, we will stand with you. The way we stand is with our actions.
We Can't Stand By. We Must Stand Up.
Our actions at the local level — in our communities — are more urgent than ever. We have to mobilize with our neighbors to stop hate and the bias and bigotry that can lead to violence. We have the tools to do this.
In the face of this crisis, Not In Our Town offers successful strategies from communities across the country. Now is the time to be together with our communities and show what we stand for.
Learn what you can do in your town.
One of the goals of Not In Our Town is to stop hate crimes before they happen and with that in mind, we present this list of actions communities can take to honor the victims of the Buffalo shooting, support members of your own communities who may be worried about racist attacks in your city, and generally work to build safer, more inclusive communities for all.
Here are the action steps with some concrete examples of how they can be implemented.
1. REACH OUT TO COMMUNITIES WHO ARE TARGETS OF HATE
Show your support and work together on action steps.
2. SUPPORT YOUTH ACTION TO STOP HATE AND BIAS
Students at a Buffalo Public school were joined by those from a suburban district to honor the victims of the shootings, and show solidarity toward racial harmony. Watch the video.
3. RALLY AGAINST HATE, RACISM, ANTISEMITISM AND ALL FORMS OF BIGOTRY
When Camille Taylor and her husband, Art Taylor, were unfairly treated by local police, Not In Our School students and the Bloomington-Normal community hosted a drive-by support rally and raised money for Camille’s fund to support books on diversity and inclusion for school libraries.
4. TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN, FAMILY AND FRIENDS ABOUT ANTI-BLACK, ANTI-SEMITIC, RACIST AND ANTI-IMMIGRANT MESSAGES THEY ARE SEEING ONLINE AND SEEK WAYS TO OVERCOME MISINFORMATION AND HATE
In November, we hosted a virtual conversation to kick off United Against Hate Week 2021 that featured national experts Cynthia Miller-Idriss and Pete Simi who study the threat of hate groups and examine how to counter the recruiting methods of white supremacist movements. You can watch their presentations and download information about combatting hate online.
5. URGE LOCAL LEADERS TO CONDEMN HATE AND WHITE SUPREMACY
We urge civic leaders of all political persuasions to stand up to this poison and to speak out against the hate which threatens our democracy.
These videos from United Against Hate Week feature local elected leader statements.
6. HOLD A TOWN MEETING WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT TO DISCUSS HATE CRIME RESPONSE, DISCRIMINATION AND PROFILING
Meet with your police department or local law enforcement to set up online hate crime and incident reporting. Find local, trusted groups representing targeted communities who can act as intermediaries for people who are reluctant to report directly to law enforcement. Ask them to share the stop hate action kits with all patrol officers. Create listening sessions with law enforcement convened by diverse community groups and create a safe place for people to discuss and surface incidents that may be happening in your community.
Begin the conversation, even if there is tension. Encourage local law enforcement leaders to take reports of bias and hate crimes seriously and report it in the FBI hate crimes tracking system.
The local NIOT-Billings group is affiliated with The Alliance of Defenders of Acceptance and Belonging (ADAB) and helped to organize a meeting with law enforcement agencies in Billings for the purpose of asking questions relating to discrimination there earlier this month. The public was invited to attend. Thomas E. Towe, president of ADAB, told The Billings Gazette, “We know that the police department's and some major cities have serious problems that have resulted in death of blacks and other minorities. We don't want this to happen in our town.”
7. HOLD A TEACH-IN ABOUT RACISM, SYSTEMIC RACISM AND THE DANGERS OF WHITE SUPREMACIST PROPAGANDA
“Saying you are not racist is not enough. You have to educate yourself, speak up when it’s uncomfortable, take a stand, act, and step aside so Black people can move forward. There is no finish line, and there is enormous work to do. Change begins with a conversation.” [Illinois State University forum]
8. CONTACT LOCAL MEDIA TO URGE THEM TO DEVELOP POLICIES TO MONITOR AND COUNTER HATE SPEECH
A resident of Athens, OH wrote a letter to the editor in the town paper after attending a Not In Our Town screening there, sharing what she'd learned and observed in the discussions afterward. Read more at The Messenger.
9. REPORT AND FLAG HATE SPEECH YOU SEE ONLINE
Don't escalate the divisive, hateful rhetoric that is being spread online. Put a stop to it. Here's how.
Teachers and School Leaders need community support to stand up to hate, and students need a forum to discuss ways to speak to their peers about racism and hate.
Not In Our Town offers Stop Hate Action Kits for communities, schools, college campus groups and law enforcement.
10. HOST A FUNDRAISER FOR NOT IN OUR TOWN TO SUPPORT THE MOVEMENT AND RAISE AWARENESS
Organize an event that is both a way for community members to gather, take a stand against hate, and raise money for Not In Our Town. Ideas for events include poetry slams, tribute concerts, and community screenings of NIOT films. Sign up to host an event and learn more about what you can do. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org