This trailer features scenes from the Not In Our Town PBS special about how a community responds to the hate crime murder of an Ecuadorean immigrant by seven local high school students. (3 min 48 sec) Not In Our Town: Light In The Darkness follows a community in crisis after the fatal attack of a local immigrant resident. Stunned by the violence, diverse community stakeholders openly confront the crime and the divisive atmosphere, and commit to ongoing actions to prevent future hate crimes and intolerance. Educators can utilize the full length (60 minute) or condensed (27 minute) versions in their classroom.
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.”
When the white supremacist group National Socialist Movement began organizing in Olympia, student leaders decided to take action by organizing a school wide assembly to address the threat and express their values for a safe and accepting community. (3:00) Discussion Questions: One student spoke about the need for “active participation” to ensure their town was not a place for hate. What does the idea of “active participation” mean to you? Does it apply to everyone in a community? Why or why not? The students profiled in the video shared that there were small numbers of students of color in their community and that they were each often the only non-Caucasian student in class. What impact do you think this had on their decision to lead efforts against the neo-Nazis in their town? Do you think this made it harder or easier for them to take on this challenge? Explain. One student shared that “The enemy is not the Nazis, but any form of hate.” How do you think that these students could continue to promote anti-hate efforts in their school and community beyond the crisis they faced with the neo-Nazi group? Are these activities that we could apply to our own school or community? To turn on closed captioning for this film, click play, then click the Subtitles/CC button on the bottom of the video player.
As large scale protests across the country highlight the racial injustice that continues to plague the country, Dr. Martin Luther King's dream for justice, equality and non-violence provides an urgent call for reflection and action this year. Every January, Not In Our Town honors Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy by sharing the real life stories of people who are applying Dr. King’s principles today. Though the political landscape has changed since the Civil Rights era, his dream that the United States would fulfill its promise of equality has yet to become reality. But Dr. King’s work proves that change is indeed possible in this country. The communities in Embracing the Dream: Lessons from the Not In Our Town Movement are living proof of that—town by town, school by school, they demonstrate that change is happening. Watch their stories below. What will you do this Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Monday, January 18th - to Embrace the Dream? Not In Our Town provides Three Simple Action Steps 1) Take the Pledge to Stop Hate and Bullying
Outside Cleveland, OH, Lakewood High School students in teacher Joe Lobozzo's Facing History and Ourselves class use video to engage with community members and explore perceptions of changing racial and economic demographics. They continue the conversation with their peers in the student Race and Diversity Club. (5:12) Discussion Questions:
Palo Alto High School student Kevin Ward challenges the stereotype of African Americans as "gangsters," and says "smart is the new gangster." The 16-year-old is working to bridge the achievement gap for students of color, through the school's Unity club and a program called Bridge, connecting students from affluent Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, a neighboring low-income community. (6:21) 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 toolkit 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.
At West Middle School in Rockford, IL, student council members organized a Not In Our School campaign and a school-wide assembly with student-produced skits challenging stereotypes and other intolerant behavior. (2:43) Discussion Questions: What did you think of the scenarios the students performed? Were they similar to name-calling or stereotypes you may have heard or seen? In each performance scene, the target of the name-calling modeled a response or rebuttal. Did you find these responses realistic? Do you think they would be effective in stopping the name-calling? Give examples of why or why not. One student in the video quoted the belief that “In order to improve the future, we must know where we have been in the past.” What does this statement mean to you? What lessons from our history in the United States do you feel we have learned, or do we still need to learn, in order to improve our future?
While the students profiled in this video had a catalyst prompting them to hold a community anti-hate rally, this is not necessary to engage students or the larger community in conversations and learning about diversity and respect. In fact, establishing these principals as priorities in your school -- to be discussed and affirmed not only in times of crisis -- can be very powerful in preventing incidents from occurring or if they do, to know there are established channels of support and response. This lesson is part of the Not In Our School Video Action Kit, a comprehensive toolkit 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.
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:
Facing History and Ourselves combats racism, antisemitism, and religious prejudice by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe. The purpose of this lesson idea is to provide some general strategies for using any of the Not in Our School videos. We encourage you to check out other lesson ideas that Facing History and Ourselves has developed for specific Not in Our School videos and for using the website in general: