Blog | Not in Our Town


September 30, 2014 - 10:00am
One question that many groups in the Not In Our Town network grapple with is, How do we have the hard conversations? In other words, how do we talk about systemic racism, white supremacy and privilege, and microaggressions that occur every day in our neighborhoods?
September 29, 2014 - 10:15am
The Sacramento, CA suburb of Elk Grove is home to a large Sikh community that, in 2011, mourned the loss of two grandfathers that were gunned down by an unknown shooter. A year later, a white supremacist walked into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and opened fire, killing six worshipers and leaving a police lieutenant wounded. This 2012 attack in Oak Creek, WI is the focus of our film, Waking in Oak Creek, detailing the community’s response to one of the deadliest hate crime attacks in recent U.S. history. We brought Oak Creek’s story to the California State Capitol Theater in Sacramento in August, bridging these two communities' stories of crisis, loss and healing.  
September 25, 2014 - 5:24pm
To pretend that this is only a St. Louis problem, or merely a story about a bad town, is missing the real message of Ferguson. Ferguson is us. This is where we are. I’m on the plane to St. Louis now, and will be there this week in late September to start filming and listening. I know there are really good people, black and white, who want to make change. We need to surface their actions and stories.
September 25, 2014 - 3:21pm
Paul Sheridan is an active member of Not In Our Town from Charleston, WV. For many years, he was the head of the Civil Rights Division for the West Virginia Attorney General's Office, and has experience working for civil rights protection both in courts and at the community level. In this piece, Sheridan describes his experience in Charleston's sister city, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, and the work being done there to combat a reemergence of hatred and intolerance toward minorities.
September 23, 2014 - 3:00pm
This clip from Fox2 St. Louis features a September concert organized by soul singer Brian Owens in the parking lot of his Ferguson church. He hoped the musical event would help Ferguson heal and inspire adults to get involved in the lives of young people.  According to Fox2: Owens worships at the Ferguson Heights Church of Christ and felt compelled to help Ferguson heal. “I hope that everyone will take what happened to heart, put their feet to the ground, put their hands to the plow and really get involved,” said Owens. The Heal Ferguson Concert was a call for peace and unity.  One performer, Nao Yoshioka, traveled all the way from Japan.  Member of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra also performed.  Owens was moved by a diverse turnout.  He said it’s an example of the power of music. The concert highlighted the Ferguson Youth Initiative.  The program provides mentoring for youth.  It also provides incentives for youth to complete the program.