Hate Crime | Page 3 | Not in Our Town

Hate Crime

  At South Ocean Middle School in Patchogue, NY, students are using art to talk about the tragic murder of local Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero. After seven local high school students were arrested for the killing, Principal Linda Pickford wanted to create a safe environment where her students could express their feelings about the tragedy, and share their ideas about diversity, immigration, inclusion and respect. So when Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri suggested she host an art exhibit called “Embracing Our Differences,” she mounted the collection of banners on the front lawn of her school, opening up a conversation about how our differences and how communities can come together. (5:53) Discussion Questions:
An excerpt of the critically acclaimed PBS documentary that tells the uplifting story of how the residents of Billings, Montana, joined together when their neighbors were threatened by white supremacists. Townspeople of all races and religions swiftly moved into action. Religious and community leaders, labor union volunteers, law enforcement, the local newspapers and concerned individuals stood united and spoke loudly for a hate-free community, proclaiming in no uncertain terms "Not In Our Town!" (5:32)
Theater director and Not In Our Town leader Barbara Williams staged one of 150 performances of the premiere of "The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later," revisiting the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard. This epilogue of "The Laramie Project," the original play about the reaction of the townspeople of Laramie, Wyoming, to Shepard's death, captures the town ten years after. Williams, a retired high school teacher, used the original play years before with her students at Newark High School when a local transgender teen was murdered -- a story featured in the documentary "Not In Our Town Northern California." Williams says her experience directing the sequel reinforced her desire to recommit to the Not In Our Town movement and anti-hate work. (4:54)