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  Have you ever been in a situation where you wish you had spoken up to defend yourself? Have you ever stood by when someone else was being teased or bullied and wished you had said something? It happens to all of us, and though we should not feel bad or guilty about it, we can do things differently if we put our mind to it. The same is true for children. We tell students to speak up for themselves and to stop being bystanders when it comes to bullying, but we need to show them how and let them try it out. Try It Out is the new Not In Our School film for elementary students. In this film, middle school students help their elementary peers learn three ways to be an upstander. While being an upstander is never easy, roleplaying gives children a chance to practice and explore how it is done. 1. Intervene. We always tell children to intervene safely, meaning not to be aggressive, just firm when intervening and not to take unnecessary risks.
October has arrived, which means National Bullying Prevention Month is here. This year, we're dedicating the month to Extraordinary Upstanders, ordinary citizens who see something wrong and do something to make it right. We believe that being an upstander, who speaks up and stands up for themselves and others, is a way of life. 
This weekend, our film crew joined the Oak Creek, WI community as they gather to remember those lost in the fatal shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on Aug. 5, 2012.Find photos from the Chardi Kala 6K Memorial Run & Walk: Turning Tragedy into Triumph event on Saturday. Tonight we join the Oak Creek community vigil.    
On June 10, George Zimmerman will stand trial on second-degree murder charges for shooting unarmed Florida teen Trayvon Martin. The 2012 shooting sparked a national conversation about racial profiling and the need to address it both in our cities and in our classrooms.  Last year, our Not In Our School program joined the NAACP, the National Educators Association, Facing History and Ourselves, Teaching Tolerance, the American Federation of Teachers, and other groups to distribute resources and materials on standing up to racial profiling.   As this case re-enters the national spotlight, let's find ways to talk about racial profiling and how can we can create environments that are safe and inclusive for all.    Click here to find Racial Profiling Curriculum & Resources 
 Image sourced via Lambda Theta Delta, the largest and oldest Asian American fraternity at the University of California, Irvine, suspended their status as a registered campus organization after a video sparks controversy on campus. The video depicts four members of Lambda Theta Delta lip-syncing to the Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z song “Suit and Tie” with one of the members in blackface. Lambda Theta Delta chair Darius Obana has publicly apologized for the “extremely racist” and “highly offensive” video and stated that the individuals involved have been reprimanded, according to the KCPP. But this incident has brought to light many questions about campus climate and safety.
Michelle Gahee Kloss directs Not In Our Town’s Community Engagement efforts. Formerly a New York-based producer and writer, Michelle has produced media projects for such varied broadcast entities as CourtTV, Viacom, Discovery Networks, Sony Pictures and Columbia Tri-Star Television, as well as independent documentary projects. She is also a widely published journalist with credits from publications such as The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. In 2007 she transitioned to philanthropic work leading the non-profit communications efforts and directing the campaign at the Cal Alumni Association to create a merit-based scholarship for underrepresented minority students at UC Berkeley. Additionally, she has taught a race relations seminar at UC Berkeley. Specializing in media, law, social and organizational issues, Michelle is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Howard University School of Law and she has taught at colleges in Los Angeles and New York City. She is also a Duke University certified Integrative Health and Life coach.
  NBA player Jason Collins received a whirlwind of attention since becoming the first openly gay athlete on a major U.S. sports team. Although most people have heard of him, they are probably unaware of Brittney Griner, a lesbian recently drafted into the WNBA. Griner came out publicly last month, but has received little media attention compared to Collins. In an essay written for The New York Times, she opens up about that experience, letting the world know her decision was not about fame, but being true to herself despite the racial and homophobic obstacles faced in the process.
  Bowling Green State University students, faculty, and community members launched a Not In Our Town Campaign after a series of racially charged tweets spurred the community into action. After two incidents of hate speech earlier this school year, a number of inappropriate tweets came to light after a group of African-American students visited a local bar on April 4, immediately sparking a response from the Black Student Union, according to the BG News.  
On April 5, 2012, Ohio State University’s Black Cultural Center was vandalized with the words “Long Live Zimmerman,” referring to shooter George Zimmerman, who shot unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin.     This incident of hate brought to light concerns of safety and inclusion, and lead to the creation of the No Place For Hate Task Force. In this article, which is republished with permission from college newpaper, The Lantern, editor Caitlin Essig describes the work of the No Place For Hate Task Force and its role in the Ohio State community.   The words “Long Live Zimmerman” spray-painted on the side of the Frank W. Hale Jr. Black Cultural Center on Ohio State’s campus caused a ripple effect. A task force was formed to combat hate on campus, and a year later, it has accomplished some of its goals.   The painted words were discovered the morning of April 5, 2012, on the west exterior wall of Hale Hall. Roughly a month earlier, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was fatally shot by neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla. Officials said the words were likely spray-painted on Hale Hall in response to the incident.
From The North Royalton Early Childhood PTA and students from the Early Childhood Center provide some community service for their peers in Newtown, CT By Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director After the massacre in Newtown, the National PTA launched a campaign to send snowflakes to Sandy Hook School. The result: thousands of snowflakes from all over the United States were delivered as a message of empathy and blanketed the grieving community.