immigration | Not in Our Town


Our hearts go out to the Lucero family and the people of Patchogue, who have worked for years to repair the damage caused by the traumatic hate crime killing of Marcelo Lucero in 2008.
Davis, CA community supports victim of anti-LGBT hate crime CREDIT: Davis Enterprise Three hundred people in Davis, CA attended a candlelit vigil on March 16 for Mikey Partida, a Davis resident who was badly beaten earlier this month in what police are investigating as a hate crime.
Julie Mann leads a human rights class at Newcomers High School in New York, which has recently been focusing on thetreatment of local immigrants. My name is Julie Mann and I’m an ESL and Human Rights teacher at Newcomers High School. About 17 years ago, I started a special human rights class at Newcomers. In recent years, my human rights class has focused on immigration and anti-immigrant sentiments and actions, very locally in New York. More specifically, we started thinking and learning about treatment of immigrants on Long Island, first through the film Farmingville and then through the murder of Marcelo Lucero. When that horrific event occurred, my students and I felt we had to do something. To help change negative perceptions of immigrants, we decided to teach others their stories. I truly believe that most hate crimes occur out of ignorance and fear of the unknown. I felt that if people got to know my students, they would have to love them! Last year, we created the Building Bridges project, because I felt it would help build a bridge between immigrants and those who feared them.
Tune into this original Not In Our Town programming from our public media partners at Fronteras. We asked you this question in October 2011: Does your community make you feel safe and included, or scared and marginalized? The Fronteras: Changing America Desk has joined forces with Not in Our Town documentary producers to determine how hate affects communities throughout the Southwest and what people like you are doing about it. Tune in to hear these stories on KJZZ at 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. during Morning Edition
By Paul Pontieri, Mayor, Incorporated Village of Patchogue Mayor Paul V. Pontieri At the 2011 Congress of Cities and Exposition in Phoenix, Mayor Paul Pontieri of Patchogue, N.Y., helped lead a workshop featuring segments from the PBS documentary Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness, about the community response to an anti-immigrant hate crime killing in his town. The session, sponsored by NLC’s Municipal Action for Immigrant Integration program (MAII) launched a productive conversation with mayors and other city leaders about how to effectively address these complex challenges. Mayor Pontieri will appear at a film screening and discussion on February 8, 6:30 p.m. at Scottsdale Community College Performing Arts Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.
 “As I watched this documentary unfold I found myself riveted to the screen. It deals with social issues that I hold dear, specifically how central a community can be for making changes. It restored a feeling of optimism in me to see how a community coming together can turn a frightful act into a hopeful new beginning.” — Berenice Pliskin, Artist After viewing Farmingville, a 2004 PBS documentary about the hate-based attempted murders of two Mexican day laborers on Long Island, New York artist Berenice Pliskin felt moved to depict the town’s conflict as a vibrant painting. 
Jesse Castañeda, chair of the Silicon Valley Alliance for Immigration Reform (SVAIR) and human rights activist, has been campaigning for immigration reform in an effort to bridge the gap between the immigrant and mainstream populations.         Jesse Castaneda, Chair of the Silicon Valley Alliance for Immigration Reform, at the Light in the Darkness screening in San Francisco Castañeda recently organized a screening of Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library in San Jose, Calif., using the film to facilitate a conversation about anti-immigrant sentiment in his community.    “My community is the community that Marcelo Lucero's family is part of—immigrants, mostly Latino immigrants, many undocumented. They do not have a voice in our society and live in the shadows,” said Castañeda.
Multimedia in the Classroom: Student Video Diaries and Publication from the Building Bridges Project "Immigrants have been under attack in recent years, mainly due to lack of awareness and stereotypes about who immigrants are and why they come here. It is our hope that these stories will help to end these negative attacks and build a bridge between my students and those who haven‘t had the pleasure of knowing them. It is also our hope that through their stories, we will help to educate the world about the rich and wonderful people my students and their ancestors are, the extraordinary experiences they have had, the goals and dreams they have for their lives here, and the enormous value they add to this country."  —Julie Mann, Newcomers High School Human Rights teacher
  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.