- Group Name: Not In Our Town, Contra Costa
- Location: Contra Costa, CA
- Links: Yahoo Group
- Regular meetings: We meet about once a month and sometimes every two months, usually over a potluck dinner. We have a yahoo group list and five of us are monitors of the list. All 0-50 who are subscribed to our group list can contribute items to it. We send meeting notices and notes from those meetings usually, plus announcements, issues of concern, community incidents related to injustice, prejudice, etc.
Activities, Challenges & Lesssons Learned
There are a number of incidents in which we have organized responses to, including addressing a bullying incident in a local school, and a rally to support a Mosque in Antioch that was burned down. We’ve also co-sponsored several events, including a Safe Schools Forum that was organized by a local LGBT organization. We have also hosted several screenings of NIOT films, from NIOT II to Not In Our Town Northern CA, and have facilitated small group discussions to follow.
One of our biggest challenges is recruiting new, diverse and energetic activists. Many of our members suffered burn out some years ago. Putting on film events plus facilitated discussion was very successful and helpful, but it was enormously labor intensive. We also struggle with getting more of us on the yahoo grouplist to take action, alert others to problems, and bring pressure to bear. We embrace and recognize that all of us are activists and have been for years, doing individual action and group work in other organizations such as the ACLU, Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center, JACL, NAMI, NAACP, Interfaith Council, Ally Action. But it’s a challenge and more difficult to get us to act together as a NIOT group.
We’ve learned that community members are more responsive to attending events, like a film showing or festival, compared to “meetings.”
We have relationships with many groups, including the Interfaith Council of CCC; Ally Action (LGBT); Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center; and the City of Walnut Creek. When we put on events we have had as many as 30-35 organizations signing on to be sponsors with us. There is, however, no official relationship with these groups, except for the Interfaith Council, which agreed to be our fiscal agency since 2001.