Last week, the Not In Our Town film crew traveled to Suffolk County, NY to continue our coverage of community response to the hate crime killing of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant who was attacked by seven local high school students and stabbed to death by one of them on November 8, 2008. The story of young people roaming the streets of a town looking for "Mexicans" to beat up shocked the nation, and the case has become an alarming manifestation of the increasing animosity toward immigrants in this country. Our story looks at the effects of the hate crime attacks on Marcelo Lucero and other immigrants in Suffolk County, and on how a diverse group of people in this community are trying to repair the divisions in the aftermath of this crime.
June 2, 2010 - 11:49am
May 19, 2010 - 2:56pm
On April 25, 2010, Not In Our Town teamed up with Temple Israel of the City of New York to declare that fighting prejudice and bigotry is a mitzvah, no matter your religion. NIOT Executive Producer Patrice O'Neill and staffer Sue Fishkoff presented the Not In Our Town message at this Reform synagogue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, to kick off the congregation's Mitzvah Day. Mitzvah Day is a project of the Reform movement, whereby an entire congregation spends a day volunteering in the local community. A mitzvah is, literally, a commandment according to the Jewish tradition, but the word has come to mean a good deed of any kind. At Temple Israel, children and adults spent an hour watching and discussing NIOT videos, and the congregation as a whole committed to pursuing the Not In Our Town goals of safety and acceptance for all.
May 14, 2010 - 1:08pm
What would you do if the governor said one of your classes was now illegal? That's what's happening in Arizona, where the governor just signed a bill aimed at banning ethnic studies in the public schools. Judy Burns (pictured above), president of the school district in Tucson, Arizona, says those classes will go on anyway. She sees how important they are to the students. "I see how engaged the kids are in their education, some of them for the very first time," she says. "They feel empowered. It wakes them up to the possibilities of their future. " On May 11, Arizona passed a law that would ban classes designed primarily for students of particular ethnic groups, or that advocate ethnic solidarity or promote resentment of a race or a class of people. Any district teaching such classes would risk losing 10 percent of its state financing once the law goes into effect Dec. 31.
May 6, 2010 - 3:57pm
Charleston, South Carolina Hundreds of people gathered hands, cities across the nation held poetry slams, and thousands of people wore buttons against discrimination as part of the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism. Nearly a quarter of a million people from 32 states and over 2000 organizations participated, and the governors of North Carolina, West Virginia, Kansas, New Hampshire and Massachussetts issued proclamations declaring April 30 "YWCA Stand Against Racism Day" in their respective states.
May 6, 2010 - 3:33pm
The following is part of an essay by Not In Our Town activist Hugh Vasquez of Walnut Creek, CA, addressing the human impact of Arizona's controversial new legislation aimed at undocumented immigrants. Vasquez, a partner with the Center for Diversity Leadership and a Senior Associate at the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools, writes that his concern is not with the intentions of those who wrote the law, but its impact on the state's Latino residents and the inevitable racial profiling that will result. Have you, or anyone you know, been the victim of racial or ethnic profiling? Do you agree with Vasquez that this is one of the dangers inherent in Arizona's new legislation? Please consider his words, and add your comments below.