When Quality Auto Paint & Body owner, Richard Henegar, hears that a local college student is the victim of an anti-gay hate attack, he decides to help. Not only does Richard repair Jordan Addison's vandalized car, he brings his entire community together. After painting over the anti-gay slurs and replacing windows and tires, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres learns of this act of generosity and invites the two men to talk about their experience on national television. Richard is also honored by his alma mater, Lord Botetourt High School when they create The Richard Henegar Kindness Award to highlight how one person can make a difference.
Video Category: Stereotypes & Prejudice
"Who is this group that's coming? And I realized ... it's Fred Phelps and my heart just dropped. I can't believe they're coming. Why us? Out of all the schools, why us?" —Daisy Renazco, Gunn High School teacher Above is one of NIOT.org's most popular videos, "Gunn High School Sings Away Hate Group," which has garnered more than 225,000 views on our YouTube channel. Ellen DeGeneres, in a Tweet, said she was "so unbelievably proud of Gunn High School in Palo Alto, CA for demonstrating love & acceptance in a peaceful way." What's significant about this video is that it showcases how a community can stand up to hate in a peaceful and constructive way. The video was shot in 2010, when the Kansas hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church (Fred Phelps' family) announced they would picket Bay Area schools and Jewish institutions. The students of Gunn High School, located in Palo Alto, Calif., decided they could not sit quietly.
Each year, Facing History teacher Jane Wooster asks the students in her classes to take on a "social action" project of their own choosing. This year, several of the students have chosen to conduct a lunch-time demonstration to draw attention to the use of the word "illegal" to describe undocumented immigrants, and start a school-wide conversation about the way immigrants are perceived in their community.
Transgender activists, community members, civic leaders and local law enforcement gather in Oakland, CA on Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor the victims of brutal hate crimes across the country. Learn more at the NIOT.org blog. Please share this video with your friends and community.
"We are all Americans in this country."—Fred Korematsu (1919-2005) Fred Korematsu's fight for equality became a symbol of American freedom. Born in the U.S., Korematsu protested the forced internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, claiming it was unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld charges against him in 1944 and it would take nearly 40 years for his charges to be formally overturned. Korematsu said, "It was a great victory for all Americans and all Asians in this country, that this will never happen again." In 2011, California celebrated its first Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution on Jan. 30. It is the first day named after an Asian-American in the history of the United States. Five hundred teachers in California teach Korematsu's story on that day. “In the long history of our country’s constant search for justice, some names of ordinary citizens stand for millions of souls: Plessy, Brown, Parks. To that distinguished list, today we add the name of Fred Korematsu,” said President Bill Clinton when he presented Korematsu with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, in 1998.
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A few key moments from the first ten years of the Not In Our Town movement. (10:14)
Grocery workers came to the aid of a customer who was attacked. (2:17)
Rockford, Illinois, organized a five-month Not In Our Town campaign, after employees in the Rockford Park District brought the idea to the city. Area businesses, churches, and schools signed onto a Not In Our Town proclamation and participated in the campaign. The campaign culminated with a community march across the river that divides the city's east and west sides. (3:58)
Residents from East Palo Alto and Palo Alto marched from one city hall to the other to protest the practice of racial profiling by the Palo Alto Police Department against African Americans and all people of color. (3:19)