The San Jose State University-appointed task force assigned to study discrimination in the school’s dorms has issued a list of recommendations to improve diversity and inclusion in their on-campus community, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The task force was established in the wake of a series of incidents against a black student by his three dormmates, who are now being charged with hate crime offenses. The roommates’ alleged abuse included referring to the student by a racist nickname, putting up a Confederate flag in the dorm, and barricading him in his room after they fastened a bike lock to his neck. Three of the four students involved in the alleged abuse have been expelled.
Gettysburg, PA, site of the famous battle that many consider a turning point in the Civil War, is commemorated annually with festivals, military re-enactments and celebrations of the town's rich history. This month marks the 150th anniversary of the historic battle. Although America has become more inclusive, hate still sometimes rears its ugly head. In June 2010 the Aryan Nations came to Gettysburg to hold a rally on the historic battlefield where Abraham Lincoln delivered his most stirring defense of American democracy. The Adams Unity Coalition—a group made up of several local organizations—came together to hold their own peaceful rally across town that celebrated and embraced the diversity in their community. Check out this modern story of safety and inclusion in this video featuring the Adams Unity Coalition:
Gettysburg, PA: When folks in Gettysburg, PA heard the Aryan Nations hate group was planning a rally on the very spot where Abraham Lincoln delivered his most famous defense of American democracy, they knew they couldn't sit by in silence."Silence is the welcome mat for hate," notes Ann Van Dyke of Pennsylvania's Human Relations Commission, who has worked with almost two dozen communities throughout the state that were targeted by hate groups. The activist groups that formed in those towns are now part of the Pensylvania Network of Unity Coalitions, longtime members of the Not In Our Town family.In Gettysburg, the Adams Unity Coalition had just six weeks to prepare. They had limited resources. And they had to compete with almost a dozen other festivals taking place that same weekend.
Shenandoah, PA: When two Pennsylvania teenagers were acquitted in May in the fatal beating of a Mexican immigrant laborer, many people, from the victim's widow to the state governor, felt justice had not been served. Apparently the Department of Justice had similar concerns. And now they're charging local police as well. On Dec. 10, 2009, Derrick Donchak, 18, and Brandon Pikarsky, 19, were indicted on federal hate crime charges in the July 2008 beating death of 25-year-old Luis Eduardo Ramirez Zavala. The town's police chief and two police officers were also indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and covering up evidence to protect the defendants, who were popular high school football players. Prosecutors told reporters the investigation was spoiled because the officers helped the boys invent a story that concealed the racial motivation for their attack. Donchak and Piekarsky were acquitted by an all-white county jury of murder, manslaughter, and aggravated assault, Pennsylvania's equivalent of hate crimes. They were found guilty of simple assault and given light jail time. Piekarsky was scheduled for release this month.