Two years after a hate crime rocked the small Long Island village of Patchogue, N.Y., the community will come together to remember local resident Marcelo Lucero and to pledge to work toward peace, harmony, and unity in the wake of Lucero's violent death. Lucero's younger brother, Joselo Lucero, is organizing a vigil on Sunday, Nov. 7 and has invited youth to create positive messages for a Wall of Hope at the ceremony. Patchogue mayor Paul Pontieri and the Village Trustees will be participating in the event.
“This is an aged hand that is working to mend the heart that’s been broken, and we can all do that—mend each other’s hearts.” Ruth Monaco, Patchogue quilter
In the aftermath of a hate crime, how do teachers open a conversation with their students about hate and intolerance? After seven high schoolstudents assaulted and killed Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue, NY, local educators were shocked that this could happen intheir town. At South Ocean Middle School, Principal Linda Pickford wantedto create a safe environment where her students could express theirfeelings about the tragedy, and share their ideas about diversity,immigration, inclusion and respect. When Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri suggested that Principal Pickfordhost an art exhibit called “Embracing Our Differences,” she agreed thatart was a great medium to explore these important issues, and shemounted the collection of banners on the front lawn of her school.
We've been burning the midnight oil in our Oakland editing room to bring you preview scenes from our next PBS film, NIOT III: The Patchogue Story. It's the story of a small Long Island community where Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant, was murdered in November 2008 in an attack by seven high school students who were looking for "Mexicans" to beat up. NIOT film crews have made more than a dozen visits to Patchogue. We've gotten to know the Lucero family as well as civic leaders and elected officials, who tried to bring the community together in the aftermath of this shocking hate crime. Why did we choose this story as our film's centerpiece?
Last week, the Not In Our Town film crew traveled to Suffolk County, NY to continue our coverage of community response to the hate crime killing of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant who was attacked by seven local high school students and stabbed to death by one of them on November 8, 2008. The story of young people roaming the streets of a town looking for "Mexicans" to beat up shocked the nation, and the case has become an alarming manifestation of the increasing animosity toward immigrants in this country. Our story looks at the effects of the hate crime attacks on Marcelo Lucero and other immigrants in Suffolk County, and on how a diverse group of people in this community are trying to repair the divisions in the aftermath of this crime. "Hate has to stop now," Joselo Lucero told reporters after the sentencing of Jeffrey Conroy, the 19-year-old convicted of the hate crime killing of Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue, NY. "I want to work with kids so nothing like this happens again," Joselo said. (Joselo's statement below is in English, followed by Spanish.)
Marcelo Lucero's killer, Jeffrey Conroy, was convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime today in Suffolk County, NY. In these videos, Joselo Lucero describes what it has felt like for him and his family to live through the hearings and trials of the defendants charged with the hate-based killing of his brother. Since the tragic killing of Marcelo Lucero, Not In Our Town has been following the community of Patchogue, NY as it deals with issues of race, immigration, hate and intolerance. The upcoming feature documentary, Not In Our Town III, chronicles the efforts of Patchogue's diverse residents and leaders as they grapple with the aftereffects of the murder and begin to take action to make their community safe for everyone.
NEW VIDEO: "JOSELO'S JOURNEY, PART 1" What if you had to listen to the details of your brother's murder, over and over again? That's what Joselo Lucero is going through, as he sits in the Long Island courtrooms where 19-year-old Jeffrey Conroy is now standing trial for the murder of Joselo's brother, Marcelo. Marcelo Lucero, an immigrant from Ecuador, was attacked and stabbed to death in the small town of Patchogue, N.Y. in a hate crime assault in November 2008. Seven local teenagers were charged in the attack. Today one of the assailants, testifying against Conroy, the only teen charged with murder, said the seven teens often went "beaner hopping," which he described to the court as “it’s when you go out and look for Hispanics to beat up.” The community of Patchogue and Latino leaders are working to address the safety concerns of immigrants in the aftermath of the crime.
Tragedy Shapes Community Leadership Joselo Lucero never imagined that he would become a spokesperson and a symbol for community safety and immigrants’ rights. As he spoke Saturday night before the crowd gathered at the site of his brother’s murder one year earlier, the hundreds who had gathered despite inclement weather stood rapt.
Patchogue, NY: In the wake of the murder of Marcelo Lucero and other anti-immigrant violence on Long Island, many community members are using the arts and media to spread messages of hope and unity. Others are using faith-based means to discuss difference, examine questions around immigration, and build inclusive communities. November 8 marks the one year anniversary of the hate crime killing of Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue, NY. The family of Marcelo Lucero and the people of Patchogue and Suffolk County, NY are planning a series of events. Next Saturday Nov. 7th a Community Vigil will be held at the site where Marcelo Lucero was brutally slain on Nov. 8, 2008. Marcelo's family will be present. Participants have been asked to wear white t-shirts.
Patchogue Theatre buzzed with excitement as the community came together April 20, 2009, for an evening of performance dedicated to unity and inclusiveness, five months after a violent hate crime shocked the small community in Suffolk County, New York. The Working Group’s Not In Our Town Project has been following the story of the town’s response to the killing of local resident Marcelo Lucero. Seven high school students were charged in the case. Our film crew traveled to Patchogue to capture the “Raising the Curtain on Unity” line-up of local musicians and dancers, including high school students, and a guest appearance by a leading cast member of the Broadway production In the Heights, that performed to a sold-out house despite torrential rain.