Dec. 15, 2009-Jan.10, 2010 Sacramento, CA: Churches and synagogues offer support to an Orthodox synagogue hit with anti-Semitic graffiti on New Year's Eve, the second Jewish center vandalized in a month. Both synagogues were hit by arson a decade ago, as chronicled in a Not In Our Town video. Buffalo, NY: A lesbian left blind in one eye following a hate attack outside a gay nightclub, is comforted by the many messages of support left on her Facebook page.
January 10, 2010 - 2:42pm
December 29, 2009 - 12:29pm
Why should you give to Not In Our Town? We asked our donors and NIOT Network members, and here's what they have to say: "After the firebombing of our synagogue in Sacramento I had the taste of dust in my mouth, but the community response helped me move on. You have to give back." -- Rabbi Brad Bloom “We are in a tough economic period and all around us other countries are looking at the US in a different light. With jobs and money scarce, charity and compassion for The Other seems to fall away in place of "where's mine?" or a need to exact payment for perceived or real slights. All too often that payment comes in a violent envelope. NIOT is critical in how it addresses local acts that detract us from being healthy global citizens." --Susan Estes, The Athena Fund
December 22, 2009 - 3:28pm
Shenandoah, PA: When two Pennsylvania teenagers were acquitted in May in the fatal beating of a Mexican immigrant laborer, many people, from the victim's widow to the state governor, felt justice had not been served. Apparently the Department of Justice had similar concerns. And now they're charging local police as well. On Dec. 10, 2009, Derrick Donchak, 18, and Brandon Pikarsky, 19, were indicted on federal hate crime charges in the July 2008 beating death of 25-year-old Luis Eduardo Ramirez Zavala. The town's police chief and two police officers were also indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and covering up evidence to protect the defendants, who were popular high school football players. Prosecutors told reporters the investigation was spoiled because the officers helped the boys invent a story that concealed the racial motivation for their attack.
December 17, 2009 - 11:25am
Fort Collins, CO: How do you open up a conversation about challenging issues in your town? The Not In Our Town Alliance in Fort Collins formed a book club dedicated to exploring issues of acceptance and inclusion in their community. This winter, Mayor Doug Hutchinson led a discussion of The Tortilla Curtain, which was chosen to generate discussion about immigration issues.
December 11, 2009 - 2:58pm
During this holiday season, we remember another Hanukkah 20 years ago in Billings, Montana. A year of racist and anti-Semitic violence came to a head one bitterly cold night when a brick was thrown through a six-year-old Jewish boy's bedroom window, where he had placed the family's Hanukkah menorah. The town rose as one to say, Not in Our Town, and a national movement was born. That story was told in our first PBS film entitled "Not In Our Town." Hundreds of actions and campaigns followed, as our team traveled the country documenting the stories of community after community rising up against hate and prejudice with courage and persistence.