In recognition of Immigrant Heritage Week, which was established by New York City Mayor Bloomberg in 2004 and runs from April 17-24, we have compiled Not In Our School/Not In Our Town videos centered around immigration. Whether they are students hosting a lunch-time demonstration, a policy-maker reflecting on his own history, or a group of librarians providing services for immigrants in their community--the people in the following videos share their own unique stories of how their actions have led to vital conversations about immigration in their own communities. View the collection here. NY Screenings: The Office of Immigrant Affairs has organized six screenings around the city of Light in the Darkness for Immigrant Heritage Week. At left, you will find the flyer for Saturday's screening at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, with a Q&A with NIOT executive producer Patrice O'Neill.
The faith community has been struggling to deal with their core teachings and deep divisions in their congregations over immigration. It's not always easy for clergy to speak out on immigration reform. Sometimes they don't see eye to eye with their flock. Unity in the Community, the long-time Not In Our Town affiliate in Manassas, VA, has put together Words of Compassion, a collection of relevant resources from a wide variety of religious texts, faith-based organizations and the interfaith community. No matter your stance on the issues, anyone looking to approach the immigration issue from a faith-based perspective should find it tremendously useful. The teachings emphasize the religious bases for acceptance of differences, and recognition of our common humanity.
The following is part of an essay by Not In Our Town activist Hugh Vasquez of Walnut Creek, CA, addressing the human impact of Arizona's controversial new legislation aimed at undocumented immigrants. Vasquez, a partner with the Center for Diversity Leadership and a Senior Associate at the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools, writes that his concern is not with the intentions of those who wrote the law, but its impact on the state's Latino residents and the inevitable racial profiling that will result. Have you, or anyone you know, been the victim of racial or ethnic profiling? Do you agree with Vasquez that this is one of the dangers inherent in Arizona's new legislation? Please consider his words, and add your comments below.
Marcelo Lucero's killer, Jeffrey Conroy, was convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime today in Suffolk County, NY. In these videos, Joselo Lucero describes what it has felt like for him and his family to live through the hearings and trials of the defendants charged with the hate-based killing of his brother. Since the tragic killing of Marcelo Lucero, Not In Our Town has been following the community of Patchogue, NY as it deals with issues of race, immigration, hate and intolerance. The upcoming feature documentary, Not In Our Town III, chronicles the efforts of Patchogue's diverse residents and leaders as they grapple with the aftereffects of the murder and begin to take action to make their community safe for everyone.