When it comes to the Associated Press Stylebook, “illegal immigrant” is no more.
This sign was posted on a fence a few yards from where Marcelo Lucero was killed in a hate crime attack on Nov. 8, 2012 in Patchogue, NY. Today marks the fourth anniversary of Marcelo Lucero’s hate crime killing in Patchogue, NY. Marcelo’s death unveiled a pattern of anti-immigrant attacks that had gone unnoticed for years. We documented Patchogue’s efforts to heal divisions after tragedy in Light in the Darkness, and we remember Marcelo Lucero today because immigrants are still vulnerable to violence. A young Mayan man recently came to our office to share the story of how he was severely beaten by white supremacists on the streets of San Francisco last year. “I felt the first blow hit me and from there it didn’t stop,” he told us. “I didn’t know how to escape.”
Librarian assistant Gilda Ramos’ achievements as a dedicated community leader were honored by the Library Journal with the distinguished titled “Paralibrarian of the Year” last month. The multilingual library assistant, whose efforts to unite a town torn by anti-immigrant violence are documented in our upcoming PBS documentary Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness, accepted the award at a special reception hosted by Library Journal during the American Library Association's annual conference held in New Orleans on June 23-28. Ramos, her supervisor Jean Kaleda and other Patchogue-Medford library staff played a key role in the aftermath of the murder of longtime Patchogue resident Marcelo Lucero, who was targeted by a group of teens because he was Latino. “It was heartbreaking,” Ramos told Library Journal. “He was killed in November, and he planned to go home in December.”
After nearly a dozen attacks on immigrants, people in Staten Island, NY are working to organize a response. Two ministers are collaborating to begin dialogue in a tense atmosphere, a mile long march was held to support a gay Hispanic couple that was attacked, and local civic leaders have launched a unity campaign called “I Am Staten Island.”
NEW VIDEO: "JOSELO'S JOURNEY, PART 1" What if you had to listen to the details of your brother's murder, over and over again? That's what Joselo Lucero is going through, as he sits in the Long Island courtrooms where 19-year-old Jeffrey Conroy is now standing trial for the murder of Joselo's brother, Marcelo. Marcelo Lucero, an immigrant from Ecuador, was attacked and stabbed to death in the small town of Patchogue, N.Y. in a hate crime assault in November 2008. Seven local teenagers were charged in the attack. Today one of the assailants, testifying against Conroy, the only teen charged with murder, said the seven teens often went "beaner hopping," which he described to the court as “it’s when you go out and look for Hispanics to beat up.” The community of Patchogue and Latino leaders are working to address the safety concerns of immigrants in the aftermath of the crime.