Not In Our Town needs your help. NIOT is trying to raise funds that will allow us to provide more communities with tools that will help them not only address hate as it happens but also prevent hate from happening in the first place. For most of us, summer is a time of vacation and relaxation. Here at Not In Our Town, we worry. Some of the most heinous and high profile hate crimes have occurred in summers past. The Summer of Hate in 1999 was particularly dreadful. In a series of violent hate attacks by "lone wolf" white supremacists, five people were killed across the country. Communities in California, Illinois and Indiana were terrorized as synagogues were torched, day care centers attacked, and well-loved local citizens—Gay, African-American, and Asian-American—lost their lives at the hands of virulently bigoted murderers.
In late April, our supporters at the Nathan Cummings Foundation featured Not In Our Town on their website. The Nathan Cummings Foundation's mission is rooted in the Jewish tradition and committed to democratic values and social justice. Not In Our Town receives funding through the foundation's Arts and Culture Program. We were pleased and proud to learn that NIOT will receive continued support from NCF in 2012. The foundation notes that NIOT.org "is a countervailing force to the subculture of hate, providing a web portal where visitors can share and be inspired by the experiences of those with the courage to stand up against bigotry based on race, religion, gender, sexuality and age." We thank the Nathan Cummings Foundation and our other project funders for their generous support and faith in our mission.
A slow and beautiful melody streams from Robert Bruey’s acoustic guitar as he steps up to the microphone. He clears his throat, and addresses the mourning crowd surrounding him. “I wrote this song after I heard about this [...] historical inaccuracy,” said the Long Island musician in a somber tone. “Marcelo didn’t run.” Clear and full of warmth, Bruey’s earthy voice transcends the silence at the vigil held on this biting cold November afternoon. Robert Bruey performs "Perdoname Hermano" at vigil on November 7, 2010, two years after Marcelo Lucero's death.
The Fort Collins Not In Our Town Alliance was honored with a 2010 Advancing Equality Award from the Gay & Lesbian Fund of Colorado. Though the organization received 40 nominations from across the state, Fort Collins NIOTA nabbed the award for Outstanding Nonprofit Organization. The awards, according to Tonya Ewers, are “really meant to uncover organizations and people in Colorado who are doing wonderful things in the community for equality” and their overall goal is to “create a more equal Colorado and a better place for everyone.” The fund is a program of the Gill Foundation. At the December award dinner, the Gay & Lesbian Fund used this language to explain why the Fort Collins NIOTA was selected as a their Outstanding Nonprofit Organization:
San Francisco, CA: More than 200 NIOT members, community leaders, elected officials, friends, and supporters gathered at the Bay Area Video Coalition last night to celebrate the public launch of NIOT.org. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom proclaimed April 6, 2010, as Not In Our Town Day, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent her congratulations from DC. Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and District Attorney Victor Hwang spoke about the importance of communities coming together to stand up against hate violence.