Waking in Oak Creek Documentary Kicks Off in Midwest | Not in Our Town

Waking in Oak Creek Documentary Kicks Off in Midwest

In March, we brought the inspiring story of Oak Creek, WI's unity in the aftermath of a hate crime to three Midwestern cities.

We returned to Oak Creek, WI to premiere our 30-minute documentary, Waking in Oak Creek, on March 13; traveled on March 25 to Bloomington-Normal, IL, a city that first sparked Not In Our Town activities in their community 18 years ago; and finally to executive producer Patrice O’Neill’s hometown of St. Louis, MO on March 27 for a screening and discussion. The response has been overwhelmingly positive in each of these towns.

These three events are the first of hundreds to follow. Follow the lead of these Not In Our Town communities and bring Waking in Oak Creek to your town. Click here to request the DVD and discussion guides. 


Oak Creek, Wisconsin

Milwaukee’s FOX6 covered the March premiere.

After the event, Oak Creek resident Robert Sagan said, “If you get a chance to view Waking in Oak Creek, all I can say is, ‘GO SEE IT.’ Hopefully it will leave an impact and wake you to your community, your town, your state, your country and yes your world. That the events of people anywhere can and should effect you too.”


Bloomington, Illinois

Not In Our Town Bloomington-Normal Illinois

Cameras from the Central Illinois NewsCenter joined our community event on March 25. Watch the coverage here.

WGLT’s Mike McCurdy also sat down with Not In Our Town executive producer Patrice O’Neill for a 20-minute segment that features real issues in Bloomington.

A radio series, “In Their Own Words,” that launched in February has already served as a “lightning rod for tension” and callers have accused a local educator and the radio station of promoting “propaganda to demean white people and agitate unrest among the black people.” For retired educator Camille Taylor, this has been a teachable moment for Bloomington-Normal. Listen to the WGLT segment here.

Bloomington resident Darlene Whisker Miller shared her thoughts on the Bloomington screening and discussion of Waking in Oak Creek. “It was moving, it was powerful and also heartbreaking. See it. Show it in your school, your church, your city, your family. This video should be shown across the nation.”


St. Louis, Missouri

Hours before the March 27 event at the Missouri History Museum, St. Louis Public Radio featured Not In Our Town’s Executive Producer Patrice O’Neill in a discussion titled, “How do we prevent hate crimes?”

In addition to O’Neill, the conversation was joined by Joseph Cichacki of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Listen to the interview here.

Bring Waking in Oak Creek to your town. Join libraries, community and faith groups, and classrooms that are already screening and discussing the film. Click here to request a DVD and discussion guide.

This film is being released as part of the Safe, Inclusive Communities Initiative, a collaboration between Not In Our Town and the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Office. Learn more here. 

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