Interfaith | Not in Our Town


Seventh graders at Orinda Intermediate School are taking a personal approach to the study of Islam by inviting Shajee Syed-Quadri to be a guest speaker in their world history class. As president of the Muslim Student Association at Irvington High School, Shajee shares stories about what it's like to be a typical American teenager and a practicing Muslim. This peer-to-peer program breaks down religious and cultural stereotypes, and provides the space for students to connect and learn from each other. This film is part of a series featuring Facing History and Ourselves.  To turn on closed captioning for this film, click play, then click the Subtitles/CC button on the bottom of the video player. Learn how to start a NIOS campaign at your school with our free Not In Our School Quick Start Guide. This video is part of the Not In Our School Video Action Kit, a comprehensive tool kit featuring films, lessons, and resources designed to motivate students to speak out against bullying, and create new ways to make their schools safe for everyone. Learn more about the Video Action Kit.  
Waking in Oak Creek: A Community Rocked by Hate is Awakened and Transformed As the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wisconsin prepares for Sunday prayers, a deadly hate attack shatters their lives, but not their resilience. After six worshipers are killed by a white supremacist, the local community finds inspiration in the Sikh tradition of forgiveness and faith. Lieutenant Murphy, shot 15 times in the attack, joins the mayor and police chief as they forge new bonds with the Sikh community. Young temple members, still grieving, emerge as leaders in the quest to end the violence. In the year following the tragedy, thousands gather for vigils and community events to honor the victims and seek connection. Together, a community rocked by hate is awakened and transformed by the Sikh spirit of relentless optimism. * Request a free DVD classroom copy of the film by clicking here.  Useful teaching strategies that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards:
Three Films Produced and Directed by Sikh Youth
This is the winning video for the United Sikhs and Not In Our School Anti-Bullying Video Contest. This video shares the story of Sahib Singh, a Sikh youth who encountered bullying in Stockton, CA. Sahib turns to his Sikh community to get the courage to stand up and speak out against bullying and intolerance. ABOUT THE CONTEST: In 2013, UNITED SIKHS and Not In Our School invited Sikh students from across California to share their stories. The goal was to create more awareness of Sikh culture and to help schools create more welcoming environments, free of bullying. Here are three videos and a lesson plan to use with students. OTHER WINNING ENTRIES This video was created by the Wilcox High School Sikh Club, in Santa Clara, CA. It depicts the story of a Sikh student explaining his beliefs and practices to his fellow peers. View this video on TeacherTube.
Lesson Idea from Facing History and Ourselves   Overview  
Schools and college campuses are screening Not In Our Town: Class Actions across the country. Here we will compile ideas on how to use this PBS program in your classroom. Thanks to Newcomers High School (Long Island City, NY) teacher Julie Mann and Lakewood High School (Lakewood, OH) teacher Joe Lobozzo for preparing these comprehensive materials.  Pre-Screening Activities  Part 1: Mississippi Part 2: Indiana Part 3: California Post-Screening Activities   How have you used Class Actions on your school or campus? Let us know and we'll share your lesson plan here at to share with other educators. 
Find previews and information about Class Actions at Written by: Julie Mann, Newcomers High School teacher, and Joe Lobozzo, Lakewood High School teacher Vocabulary: Hate crime Anti-semitism Hanukah Menorah Rabbi   Questions: How does one hate crime affect an entire community? What strategies did Bloomington United use to fight against the hate crime? When the rabbi was given a ball at the school basketball game, what message did that send to hate groups? What can we learn from Bloomington United? What risks do people in this part of the film take by acting? Why is it worth it for them to take those risks?  
Gunn High School in the Palo Alto Unified School District has held a Not In Our School campaign at their school for nearly a decade. The objective of the weeklong campaign is to “promote acceptance, awareness and identity within the PAUSD community” and “to help the Gunn community increase understanding and encourage discussion about the diversity and race relations Gunn.”
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)
Facing History and Ourselves combats racism, antisemitism, and religious prejudice by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe. This lesson idea is part of a collection of resources Facing History and Ourselves has developed to support classroom use of Not in Our School materials. Other resources in this collection include: