Today marks the third anniversary of the death of Marcelo Lucero, Ecuadorian immigrant and Patchogue, N.Y. resident. According to the Patchogue Patch, approximately 100 people attended services dedicated to Marcelo Lucero and other victims of hate crimes this weekend. At the services, Marcelo's brother, Joselo, thanked the crowd for attending. "I really feel like this is what I want from the beginning," Joselo Lucero said, "just to have two communities in one place getting along in harmony." Attendees honored other hate crime victimes lost and injured and wrote messages of peace and love in both English and Spanish. After the services, the crowd marched to the spot Marcelo Lucero was killed and scattered roses in his name.
The students of Newcomers High School, a school for newly arrived immigrants in Queens, N.Y., reached out to Joselo Lucero with letters of sympathy when his brother Marcelo was killed in 2008. Two years later, Joselo visits the school to speak to the students about what he learned from the loss of his brother, his experiences as an immigrant, and the difficult process of forgiveness. "He's telling his story," said Newcomers teacher Julie Mann. "And even though it's a difficult and painful story, he's not afraid to do that, and I think that's a big lesson for my students." The Lucero family is in no way associated with the Lucero de America Foundation. Joselo Lucero now makes school visits promoting respect for diversity and non-violence. He is available at email@example.com. Joselo Lucero has set up the Marcelo Lucero Scholarship at Patchogue-Medford High School. Donations can be directly sent to: Marcelo Lucero Scholarship, 181 Buffalo Avenue, Medford, NY 11763.
Released today! In Not In Our Town: Light In the Darkness, the Patchogue-Medford Library plays a pivotal role as a safe haven for the local immigrant community. In Fall 2008, librarian Jean Kaleda and librarian assistant Gilda Ramos learned that people were afraid to attend evening ESL classes at the library for fear of being attacked while walking the streets at night. The librarians were in the process of organizing a public meeting with local officials to address their concerns. A week later, Marcelo Lucero was murdered and the library became a place for healing and dialogue. Spanish-speaking police officers, Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri, and local leaders met with community members to address the concerns of the Latino population in Patchogue. A group of quilters worked in the basement of the library as they stitched "Healing Hands, Mending Hearts," a quilt they later presented to Joselo Lucero, Marcelo's brother.
Two years after a hate crime rocked the small Long Island village of Patchogue, N.Y., the community will come together to remember local resident Marcelo Lucero and to pledge to work toward peace, harmony, and unity in the wake of Lucero's violent death. Lucero's younger brother, Joselo Lucero, is organizing a vigil on Sunday, Nov. 7 and has invited youth to create positive messages for a Wall of Hope at the ceremony. Patchogue mayor Paul Pontieri and the Village Trustees will be participating in the event.
In the aftermath of a hate crime, how do teachers open a conversation with their students about hate and intolerance? After seven high schoolstudents assaulted and killed Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue, NY, local educators were shocked that this could happen intheir town. At South Ocean Middle School, Principal Linda Pickford wantedto create a safe environment where her students could express theirfeelings about the tragedy, and share their ideas about diversity,immigration, inclusion and respect. When Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri suggested that Principal Pickfordhost an art exhibit called “Embracing Our Differences,” she agreed thatart was a great medium to explore these important issues, and shemounted the collection of banners on the front lawn of her school.
Last week, the Not In Our Town film crew traveled to Suffolk County, NY to continue our coverage of community response to the hate crime killing of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant who was attacked by seven local high school students and stabbed to death by one of them on November 8, 2008. The story of young people roaming the streets of a town looking for "Mexicans" to beat up shocked the nation, and the case has become an alarming manifestation of the increasing animosity toward immigrants in this country. Our story looks at the effects of the hate crime attacks on Marcelo Lucero and other immigrants in Suffolk County, and on how a diverse group of people in this community are trying to repair the divisions in the aftermath of this crime. "Hate has to stop now," Joselo Lucero told reporters after the sentencing of Jeffrey Conroy, the 19-year-old convicted of the hate crime killing of Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue, NY. "I want to work with kids so nothing like this happens again," Joselo said. (Joselo's statement below is in English, followed by Spanish.)
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.
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.
Tragedy Shapes Community Leadership Joselo Lucero never imagined that he would become a spokesperson and a symbol for community safety and immigrants’ rights. As he spoke Saturday night before the crowd gathered at the site of his brother’s murder one year earlier, the hundreds who had gathered despite inclement weather stood rapt.