Racism | Not in Our Town


A Community Rocked by Hate is Awakened and Transformed The documentary Waking In Oak Creek profiles a suburban town rocked by hate after six worshippers at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin are killed by a white supremacist. In the year following the attack, the mayor and police chief lead the community as they forge new bonds with their Sikh neighbors. Young temple members and a police lieutenant, shot 17 times in the attack, inspire thousands to gather for events and honor the victims. After one of the deadliest hate crime attacks in recent U.S. history, the film highlights a community and law enforcement working together to overcome tragedy, stand up to hate, and create a safe town for all. * Request a free DVD classroom copy of the film by clicking here.  Useful teaching strategies that link to the Common Core State Standards:
Republished from ChampionsofUnity.org. Find the original here.  Charlotta A. Bass stands among the most influential African Americans of the twentieth century. A crusading journalist and extraordinary political activist, she was at the forefront of the civil rights struggles of her time, especially in Los Angeles, but also in California and the nation. Teachers can use Bass as an inspirational example of fighting for non-violence and equality, with the following lesson plan and activity.  Objective:  Students will conduct a town hall meeting, create a survey, and interview fellow students regarding violence on campus.  Using the information obtained, students will write a Declaration of Non-violence (or whatever topic your group has selected) which will then be presented to the student body for ratification, then to the administration for possible implementation. 
The first African-American woman to own and publish a newspaper, The Eagle (later, The California Eagle), Charlotta Bass was a tireless advocate for social change and one of the most influential African-Americans of the 20th century. Based in Los Angeles, Bass utilized the newspaper as a platform to address issues of race and gender equality, police brutality, and media stereotyping in an era when women and African-Americans were largely being excluded from public discourse.
  The son of Filipino immigrants, Laurence Tan was studying to be a doctor when the vision of becoming a teacher presented itself in a dream. Now a fifth grade teacher in Watts, CA, Laurence uses the tool of TEACH to inspire and educate students in an area where opportunities are slim. Laurence has also helped establish the Watts Youth Collective with former students, an organization that promotes social change through media. Laurence’s 12-hour teaching days and his work with the collective are efforts to produce positive changes in each individual and the community. This lesson addresses the following Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies and you can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves. Self-awareness: Laurence Tan maintains a sense of optimism and belief in the idea that what he does has a positive impact on others, in particular his students and former students. This optimism and confidence drives him to continue to be a positive influence in their lives. Self-management: Despite the long hours, sometimes 12-hour workdays, Laurence Tan strives to make a difference in his student’s lives by helping them learn to the best of their abilities as well as encourage them to make a change.
  Chukou Thao, executive director of National Hmong American Farmers, immigrated to Fresno, CA with his family at age 8, after Laotian citizens were granted asylum in the US after the Vietnam war. Many of the first Hmong farmers suffered from discrimination, so Thao left his "cushy" job at the city of Fresno to ORGANIZE his community in a fight against injustice. Using the experiences of community members, Thao has grown NHAF to promote economic development, training and assistance to create positive social change in his community. This lesson addresses the following Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) strategies and you can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves. Self-awareness: Chukou Thao recognizes the injustice happening to the Hmong community and realizes that he has the ability to help fight for those that are unable to speak for themselves. Self-management: Chukou Thao gives up his “cushy” job to help organize and push for fair treatment of Hmong farmers. Social awareness: Although Thao did not experience the discrimination directly, he is personally familiar with the life of a Hmong farmer because his parents were also farmers. He realizes that to combat this discrimination he must help get the Hmong community to unite and organize.
This is the first segment in the PBS special, "Not In Our Town: Class Actions," which premiered nationally in Feb. 2012. For more information, visit Not In Our Town: Class Actions. 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.  
Leaders of One Mississippi, a student group devoted to bridging racial and social barriers at the University of Mississippi, bring students together for a dialogue meeting about their hopes and fears for the organization. This is a DVD extra from the PBS program, Not In Our Town: Class Actions. For more information on the film, visit niot.org/ClassActions
University of Mississippi Assistant Provost Dr. Donald Cole shares his point of view on "The South Will Rise Again," chant and other traditions associated with segregation. After attending Ole Miss in 1968, Dr. Cole was soon expelled for his civil rights activity on campus. He now serves as an advisor to the chancellor. To read the extended transcript, click here.  This is a web extra from the PBS program, Not In Our Town: Class Actions. For more information on the film, visit niot.org/ClassActions
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 NotInOurSchool.org to share with other educators. 
Though the political landscape has changed since the Civil Rights era, Martin Luther King Jr's dream that this country would fulfill its promise of equality has yet to become reality. But Dr. King’s work showed this country that change is possible, and the communities in Embracing the Dream: Lessons from the Not In Our Town Movement are living proof that change is happening—town by town, school by school.