While there was broad media coverage of the devastating hate crime killings of three people at Jewish centers in Overland Park, KS, the story of the powerful actions of local community members to respond to these crimes went largely unreported in the national media. Young people take the lead in bringing people together Four days after the attack, local teens led a candlelight vigil to remember the victims and affirm their sense of community. They were joined by more than 3,000 people of all backgrounds and ages. Kansas City Public Television (KCPT) and Not In Our Town (NIOT) covered the teen vigil in this inspiring video, and are teaming up to follow community action in the aftermath of the attack. The hate attack at Jewish Centers in Overland Park, Kansas On April 13, 2014, the day before the Jewish holiday of Passover, an anti-Semitic gunman shot and killed two people at the Jewish Community Center then killed another at Village Shalom. The targets of hate were Jewish, but the victims—including 14-year-old Reat Underwood, his grandfather Dr. William Corporon, and Terri LaManno—happened to be Methodist and Catholic.
In March, we brought the inspiring story of Oak Creek, WI's unity in the aftermath of a hate crime to three Midwestern cities. We returned to Oak Creek, WI to premiere our 30-minute documentary, Waking in Oak Creek, on March 13; traveled on March 25 to Bloomington-Normal, IL, a city that first sparked Not In Our Town activities in their community 18 years ago; and finally to executive producer Patrice O’Neill’s hometown of St. Louis, MO on March 27 for a screening and discussion. The response has been overwhelmingly positive in each of these towns. These three events are the first of hundreds to follow. Follow the lead of these Not In Our Town communities and bring Waking in Oak Creek to your town. Click here to request the DVD and discussion guides. Oak Creek, Wisconsin Milwaukee’s FOX6 covered the March premiere. After the event, Oak Creek resident Robert Sagan said, “If you get a chance to view Waking in Oak Creek, all I can say is, ‘GO SEE IT.’ Hopefully it will leave an impact and wake you to your community, your town, your state, your country and yes your world. That the events of people anywhere can and should effect you too.”