Interfaith residents of Elk Grove, Calif. gathered on March 11 for a prayer vigil to honor two elderly Sikh community members who were gunned down early this month during their routine walk through the neighborhood. One of the victims in the shooting, 67-year-old Surinder Singh, suffered fatal wounds while his friend, 78-year-old Gurmej Atwal, remains in critical condition. East Stockton Boulevard, a busy Elk Grove road was temporarily closed to traffic as residents of different ethnicities and religions lit candles and listened as a series of speakers, including the grandson and granddaughters of Singh, spoke solemnly about the tragic loss of their family member. Many members of the community fear that the shootings were a hate-motivated crime and that the two might have been mistaken for people of Muslim faith. Just feet away from where the two were shot, Sikh and Muslim residents called for interfaith acceptance and respect.
Video Category: Interfaith
A few key moments from the first ten years of the Not In Our Town movement. (10:14)
After a mosque and community center for Somali immigrants was vandalized, Maine's Lewiston-Auburn community rallied in support of their Muslim neighbors. (2:18)
An excerpt from Not In Our Town Northern California, after a cross burning struck fear into a family, the community marches to lend their support. When an African-American resident of the small Northern California town of Anderson woke one winter morning in 2004 to an 8-foot-tall burning cross on her lawn, neighbors, city and church leaders quickly organized in support of her and her young family. (5:33) This film is part of the hour-long Not In Our Town: Northern California special. Click here to purchase the DVD and download our free educator guide here.
An excerpt from Not In Our Town Northern California, a city unites in action after three synagogues are burned. In the early morning hours of June 18, 1999, arsonists attacked three Sacramento area synagogues. Congregation B'nai Israel, Kenesset Israel Torah Center, and Congregation Beth Shalom were set ablaze within a 45-minute period. The fires destroyed thousands of books and historic Holocaust documents, and investigators found anti-Semitic fliers within the wreckage of two of the three synagogues. The attacks not only shook the foundation of Sacramento's Jewish community, but also shocked and horrified people of all faiths and backgrounds. Almost as quickly as the fires were started, the community of Sacramento mobilized to take a stand against anti-Semitic hate crimes.(5:59) This film is part of the hour-long Not In Our Town: Northern California special. Click here to purchase the DVD and download our free educator guide here.
An excerpt from Not In Our Town II, broadcast on PBS in 1996. South Carolina citizens rebuild churches and act to prevent racially-motivated arson. This video chronicles community response to church arsons in the 1990's. In the Heart of the South -- St. John Baptist Church in South Carolina, originally founded by slaves, was nearly destroyed by racially motivated vandalism in 1985. Ten years later in 1995, it burned to the ground. As members of this small congregation gather at the charred ruins and vow to rebuild we meet Ammie Murray, who leads community efforts in support of the parishioners and New York Fire Fighter Pete Critsimilios who was so moved by St. John Baptist's plight that he sent 100 engraved bibles. Also profiled are labor union members who rebuild churches throughout the South. (4:58) Purchase the full DVD below. Individual or Institutional Individual $24.99 USDInstitutional $99.99 USD
After a fatal gun shooting at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, members of the Knoxville, TN, community get together and use Not In Our Town films to mobilize community discussion and action. (3:56)
When Alia Ansari, a resident of Fremont, California, was shot to death as she walked her daughter to school, community members feared she was targeted because she was wearing a hijab. To honor her memory, people of all faiths participated in Wear a Hijab Day.