By Luke Grabski I read an article recently called “An American Tragedy” by Nuanihal Singh from August 2012, shortly after a white supremacist opened fire in the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The article raises awareness about the lack of awareness about the horrible events that took place. While reading how Singh was concerned that the national media treated “the massacre in Oak Creek … as a tragedy for Sikhs in America rather than a tragedy for all Americans,” I reflected on my recent experience at the Not In Our Town National Leadership Gathering. Almost two years after the massacre in Oak Creek, I sat in a large room in the Northern Hotel in Billings, Montana as family members and survivors of the shooting sat on a panel about the actions they’ve taken to prevent these situations in the future.
Waking in Oak Creek
Educators play a key role in fostering a safe, accepting environment in the classroom. Our newest lesson plan uses our new documentary, Waking In Oak Creek, to focus on religious inclusivity and how to teach students about the Sikh religion and accepting others’ beliefs. According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, rates of bullying against Sikh children “range from roughly half to over three-quarters.” Additionally, the Sikh Coalition has found that discrimination and bullying for turbaned Sikhs have increased exponentially since Sept. 11, 2001.
The India Community Center (ICC) is hosting a free screening of Waking In Oak Creek on Thursday, July 31 at 6 p.m. in Milpitas, CA. About Waking in Oak Creek: Waking In Oak Creek (33:00) profiles a suburban town rocked by hate after six worshippers at a Sikh Temple are killed by a white supremacist. In the year following the attack, the film highlights a community and law enforcement working together to overcome tragedy, stand up to hate, and create a safe town for all. The film was produced in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Office as part of the Not In Our Town: Working Together for Safe, Inclusive Communities Initiative. Watch the trailer below. Oak Creek Excerpt from Not In Our Town on Vimeo.
In March, we brought the inspiring story of Oak Creek, WI's unity in the aftermath of a hate crime to three Midwestern cities. We returned to Oak Creek, WI to premiere our 30-minute documentary, Waking in Oak Creek, on March 13; traveled on March 25 to Bloomington-Normal, IL, a city that first sparked Not In Our Town activities in their community 18 years ago; and finally to executive producer Patrice O’Neill’s hometown of St. Louis, MO on March 27 for a screening and discussion. The response has been overwhelmingly positive in each of these towns. These three events are the first of hundreds to follow. Follow the lead of these Not In Our Town communities and bring Waking in Oak Creek to your town. Click here to request the DVD and discussion guides. Oak Creek, Wisconsin Milwaukee’s FOX6 covered the March premiere. After the event, Oak Creek resident Robert Sagan said, “If you get a chance to view Waking in Oak Creek, all I can say is, ‘GO SEE IT.’ Hopefully it will leave an impact and wake you to your community, your town, your state, your country and yes your world. That the events of people anywhere can and should effect you too.”
presented by Not In Our Town and the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Office Not In Our Town has compiled content that may be useful for covering the Waking in Oak Creek film and campaign. For additional media requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. On this page, you will find: Waking in Oak Creek trailer on Vimeo Press Release Not In Our Town and Waking in Oak Creek logos for print and web Photos and captions from Waking in Oak Creek Short descriptions of Waking in Oak Creek, Not In Our Town, and Not In Our School Major supporters of this program
Join us at the Oak Creek Community Center in Oak Creek, WI on March 13 for the premiere viewing of our documentary, Waking In Oak Creek. Waking in Oak Creek: A deadly hate attack shatters the lives of the Sikh community in Oak Creek, WI, but not their resilience. After six worshippers are killed by a white supremacist, the mayor, police chief and community members are awakened and transformed by the Sikh spirit of relentless optimism. The 7 p.m. screening is co-sponsored by Milwaukee Public Television and Oak Creek Cares. A panel discussion will follow the film screening. Download the attached flier for more information on the event.