Racism | Not in Our Town


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:
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. 
Find previews and information about Class Actions at niot.org/ClassActions Written by: Julie Mann, Newcomers High School teacher, and Joe Lobozzo, Lakewood High School teacher Vocabulary:   KKK Confederacy Segregation African-American Dixie Questions: How would you feel as a student of color at Ole Miss while students chant “The South Will Rise Again”? How do you feel about the student group who met to fight against the discriminatory chanting? How do you feel about the chancellor’s decision to stop the discriminatory chant at the football games? Here are the words of the University of Mississippi Creed. What does it mean to you?