Tennessee | Not in Our Town


Not In Our Town Oak Ridge founder Valerie Hughes with Patty Peden Walden, owner of Painting With a Twist and sponsor of an upcoming NIOT event.   After her child was assaulted in a classroom, Valerie Hughes stepped forward to bring her community together to address bullying and ensure that Oak Ridge, Tennessee is safe and welcoming for people of all backgrounds. Just three months old, the Not In Our Town group in Oak Ridge is planning activities for the year and garnering community support.
This Saturday as the Ku Klux Klan rallies across town, Memphis, TN residents will gather for a day of events that celebrate the city’s diversity and cultural life. 
"We were at a football game where everyone is cheering and the spirits are fairly high and these words began to echo. So what's the meaning of those words? How do I interpret those words? How do I feel about those particular words, 'The South will rise again'? I'm a Southerner, Daddy was a Southerner, my Granddaddy, etc. And of course, the South in its heyday had individuals likened to me in slavery type of conditions." —Dr. Donald Cole, University of Mississippi Watch Dr. Cole: Ole Miss Legacy University of Mississippi Assistant Provost Dr. Donald Cole shares his point of view on "The South Will Rise Again," chant and other traditions associated with segregation. After attending Ole Miss in 1968, Dr. Cole was soon expelled for his civil rights activity on campus. He now serves as an advisor to the chancellor. Also available: Transcript of the extended interview
Prompted by changing demographics and a recent hate crime, the Chattanooga, Tenn. Office of Multicultural Affairs is sponsoring a forum this Thursday on hate crimes. The forum will include presentations from the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Justice Community Relations Service.
Known to most as the “Music City” of the United States, Nashville, Tenn., is the heart of a vibrant country music scene and a mecca for those who hope to break into the industry. In recent years, however, Nashville has also been known by a different name. Since early 1990, the Southern state has gained over 200,000 foreign-born residents.  With almost half of this population settling into the Nashville area, the U.S. State Department has designated Nashville as a “Destination City” for refugees.   Today, the city is home to a colorful mix of Kurdish, Somali, Ethiopian, Burmese, Sudanese, Iranian, Iraqi, and Bhutanese communities attempting to integrate into the traditional culture of Nashville.
In early September, the Stutte family was putting their lives together after their home in Vonore, Tenn. burned down, save a single wall on which an anti-gay slur was spray-painted. But when Carol Ann Stutte did something seemingly innocuous—she cancelled her hair appointment, mentioning the fire—she unlocked the door to a community that she never knew existed in eastern Tennessee.
Nashville, TN:  "How terrible that someone would write ‘Muslims Go Home’ when they are home!” exclaimed a neighbor who helped organize a team of volunteers to support Nashville's Muslim community after a mosque was defaced.  The community's swift response reaffirmed its commitment to inclusiveness. FEAR INSPIRES HATE