university of charleston | Not in Our Town

university of charleston

There is a moment in the documentary, Light in the Darkness, that has lingered with West Virginia resident Paul Sheridan. In the film, Patchogue, N.Y. mayor Paul Pontieri returns to the intersection where Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero was murdered. Pontieri meets a man, he discovers, who has been a neighbor to Pontieri’s family for 25 years. “I didn’t know who he was,” Pontieri says. “Do they make themselves invisible, or do we make them invisible by not seeing them?” It’s a relevant question for many communities with changing demographics. Sheridan, a community leader who cares about safety and inclusion, asks, “What are the communities that we are blind to? That’s the question that hangs in the air a little bit, and we haven’t really thought through how we’re reaching out.”