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Not In Our Town

It’s hard not to cry, or feel like you’ve been punched in the gut while watching the ten minutes of horrendous bullying and harassment that Upstate New York grandmother and school bus monitor was subjected to by a group of middle school students. 
Written by: Patrice O'Neill, NIOT Executive Producer
This week the Not In Our Town group in Bloomington-Normal, IL came together in a response to a controversial sign posted in front of a local cab company.
Members of the Not In Our Town team will be joining the Not In Our Town group in Bowling Green, OH (NIOT BG) on Tuesday, April 14, to commemorate the second anniversary of Bowling Green State University’s NIOT campaign that sparked a thriving city-wide effort towards diversity and inclusion. The event will premiere the film, A Bowling Green Legacy, which profiles how campus and community leaders came together after two racially-motivated hate incidents shook their town. Leaders from the Black Student Union and school administrators organized community meetings and launched a Not In Our Town campaign, which became a partnership between BGSU and the city. After the screening, the City of Bowling Green, BGSU, and NIOT BG will welcome campus and community members to a discussion and open forum.
Groups across the United States are taking action to counteract the use of the R-word. The first step is getting people to recognize that casual use of the word is damaging. Seven years ago, the website, launched the “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign to build awareness in order to stop the use of the R-word, and they have seen lots of progress (click to learn more).
In the op-ed below, Marshalltown Times-Republican Managing Editor Jeff Hutton attends the career fair, but his conversations with students take a turn toward bullying.
Even as I go to Temple on the Jewish High Holidays each year, with a police officer or security guard outside protecting us while we pray, I had not been frightened that anti-Semitism would rise to those horrific proportions again. Only once in my life was I called a “dirty Jew.” Yet, recently, as we heard about Jews being targeted and murdered in both France and Denmark, a fear rose inside me. After all, it is only 70 years after Auschwitz, and I still have living relatives who have been in concentration camps.
One question that many groups in the Not In Our Town network grapple with is, How do we have the hard conversations? In other words, how do we talk about systemic racism, white supremacy and privilege, and microaggressions that occur every day in our neighborhoods?
Paul Sheridan is an active member of Not In Our Town from Charleston, WV. For many years, he was the head of the Civil Rights Division for the West Virginia Attorney General's Office, and has experience working for civil rights protection both in courts and at the community level. In this piece, Sheridan describes his experience in Charleston's sister city, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, and the work being done there to combat a reemergence of hatred and intolerance toward minorities.
Twenty-one years after white supremacists threw a brick through her son’s window displaying a Hanukkah menorah, Tammie Schnitzer is sharing her story that helped start an anti-hate movement at the Greenbriar Ballroom in Monroe Township, NJ this Sunday Sept. 21. Above: Schnitzer in 2008, during a march and service recognizing hate crimes. Source. Below: Schnitzer with her son in 1993, from our film, Not In Our Town.