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Not in Our School Videos

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  • Adarsha Shivakumar and Apoorva Rangan are siblings that have used the power to TEACH rural Indians how to produce environmentally- and economically-sustainable fuel. After witnessing the devastation of local ecologies, Adarsha and Apoorva spent months in India convincing locals that processing a native fruit and using the byproducts as fuel presents a solution that balances human energy and local ecosystem needs.
  • Dr. Joseph Marshall, Jr. is an author, activist, and veteran street soldier. Founder of the anti-violence movement Alive & Free, Marshall draws audiences from across the country to his weekly radio program, Street Soldiers— a name Dr. Marshall uses to describe people working to eliminate violence in their communities. To help keep his own community safer, Dr. Marshall co-founded the Omega Boys Club after years of working as a middle school teacher and seeing too many of his students lost to drugs and violence.
  • Florence Jones (1907-2003) was the spiritual leader and chief healer of the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Northern California. The Wintu have called the McCloud River Watershed near Mount Shasta home for more than 1000 years, but were not provided a reservation as gold miners and pioneers drove them away in the name of industry.
  • The son of Filipino immigrants, Laurence Tan was studying to be a doctor when the vision of becoming a teacher presented itself in a dream. Now a fifth-grade teacher in Watts, California, Laurence uses the tool of TEACH to inspire and educate students in an area where opportunities are slim.
  • After being bullied for his small size and pitch of his voice, DeMonte Smith decided to join Safe School Ambassadors at his middle school to reduce the amount of bullying he saw at his school.
  • As a former pro football player, Brian Cox understands the value of teamwork and community in achieving a goal. After retiring from the NFL, Cox came back to his native Los Angeles, witnessing the destruction that gang violence had wrought on his old neighborhood.
  • At the anniversary of the American Disabilities Act, a group of disability rights advocates march in solidarity to assert their rights as Americans and human beings. Many are here because of the work of Eliza Riley, a disability rights advocate in Silicon Valley, who has developed a youth leadership program for people with disabilities.
  • Kiki Vo is an extraORDINARY Sacramento student who, through her perserverence, strong character, and ability to Forgive, has been able to celebrate life, finding happiness and success. Ten years ago, Kiki and her sisters were badly burned in a house fire in their native Vietnam that took the life of their mother. Raised by her father after securing treatment in the United States, Kiki and her sisters edured taunts and bullying and were separated when their father died of lung cancer a few years later. They have since been reunited.
  • Slater Jewell-Kemker is a 17 year old filmmaker and reporter who celebrates the best of humanity, empowering young people to change the world with media and technology.
  • At age 12, Aitan Grossman was inspired by "An Inconvenient Truth" and began a journey that led him to use music to advocate for the preservation of the natural landscape around him.
  • San Francisco students find a creative response to hate.
  • Each year, Facing History teacher Jane Wooster asks the students in her classes to take on a "social action" project of their own choosing. This year, several of the students have chosen to conduct a lunch-time demonstration to draw attention to the use of the word "illegal" to describe undocumented immigrants, and start a school-wide conversation about the way immigrants are perceived in their community.
  • Thao, executive director of National Hmong American Farmers, immigrated to Fresno, CA with his family at age 8, after Laotian citizens were granted asylum in the US after the Vietnam war. Many of the first Hmong farmers suffered from discrimination, so Thao left his "cushy" job at the city of Fresno to ORGANIZE his community in a fight against injustice.
  • After intermediate students share personal experiences, they decide to take action and invent the "Leaving a Positive Footprint" activity, where the pupils paint blue footprints with positive messages "walking" though their campus. Later, they work with first grade buddies to discuss bullying and speaking up, and together they make paper footprint cut-outs and create their own upstander messages to post around the school.
  • Inspiring voices from the Not In Our Town Movement and why they care
  • Olympia students speak out when Neo-Nazis organize in their town.
  • When Facing History teachers Jamie Lott and Mary Sok asked their World Cultures class about bullying at their school, the class described the hallways as safe. But after listening to a presentation given by hate crimes task force officer Dave D'Amico, they started a discussion about the widespread problem of online bullying, and how they as a class could take the first steps toward preventing it.
  • Vajra Watson founded SAYS: Sacramento Area Youth Speaks to give young people a voice through hip hop and spoken word. "We underestimate young people," Vajra says. "They're ready to grab the mic. Are we ready to listen?"
  • The students of Newcomers High School in Long Island City, which specializes in teaching recent immigrants, and those of St. Luke's, a private middle school in Manhattan, have come together to dialogue about difference and combat bias. The Building Bridges project was created through a collaboration between Newcomers teacher Julie Mann, and St. Luke's teacher Kim Allen, who met ten years ago through a Facing History workshop. Ms. Mann's class of English-learners exchanged letters with their St.Luke's "buddies", and in the first of several meet-ups this year, received help editing their personal immigration stories. In return, St.Luke's students are preparing research papers on immigration informed by the interviews they conducted with their Newcomers buddies.
  • Out in the Silence captures the remarkable chain of events that unfold when the announcement of filmmaker Joe Wilson's wedding to another man ignites a firestorm of controversy in his small Pennsylvania hometown. Drawn back by a plea for help from the mother of a young gay teen who is being brutally abused at school, Wilson's journey dramatically illustrates the universal challenges of being an outsider in a conservative environment and the transformation that is possible when those who have long been constrained by a traditional code of silence summon the courage to break it. The film portrays the ongoing struggle for justice and equality in communities across the country and depicts the change that is possible when people search for what they have in common rather than what that set them apart. Not In Our School features an excerpt from this inspiring film about CJ, a 16-year-old boy and his mother, who challenge the community and school board in their small town to create an environment where all students feel safe and included. For more information visit http://wpsu.org/outinthesilence. You may also download a discussion guide to Out in the Silence here.
  • When teacher Janet Miller learned that transgender youth in her district were the most at risk of attempting suicide, she wanted to make sure that her students felt safe. After sharing the alarming statistics with the school community, teachers and students worked together to create a Gay Straight Alliance at Hoover Middle School in the San Francisco Unified School District. The GSA brings students together to talk about differences and acceptance.
  • Patchogue, NY after the murder of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero
  • In the heart of the South, students at the University of Mississippi question whether traditions tied to the Confederacy and segregation continue to belong on their campus. When a chant and football fight song surface old racial tensions and divide the Ole Miss community, student leaders, supported by their chancellor, bring people together. This is the first segment in the PBS special, "Not In Our Town: Class Actions," which premiered nationally in Feb. 2012. For more information, visit http://www.niot.org/classactions.
  • Dr. Joseph Marshall, Jr. is an author, activist, and veteran street soldier. Founder of the anti-violence movement Alive & Free, Marshall draws audiences from across the country to his weekly radio program, Street Soldiers— a name Dr. Marshall uses to describe people working to eliminate violence in their communities. To help keep his own community safer, Dr. Marshall co-founded the Omega Boys Club after years of working as a middle school teacher and seeing too many of his students lost to drugs and violence.
  • New York middle school students use art in wake of tragic hate crime.
  • This student-created video promotes the film, Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness, with three simple words to counter hate: I Am Human. Created by high school students from American University's Discover the World of Communication Summer Program held at University of California Berkeley during the Summer of 2011.
  • Seventh graders at Orinda Intermediate School are taking a personal approach to the study of Islam by inviting Shajee Syed-Quadri to be a guest speaker in their world history class. As president of the Muslim Student Association at Irvington High School, Shajee shares stories about what it's like to be a typical American teenager and a practicing Muslim. This peer-to-peer program breaks down religious and cultural stereotypes, and provides the space for students to connect and learn from each other. This film is part of a series featuring Facing History and Ourselves.
  • During a dance performance on stage, Jackie Rotman's music suddenly stopped. In response, members of the audience joined Jackie on stage and began dancing to show their support. Expanding on the idea that dance can help foster a positive atmosphere, Jackie began providing hip-hop classes free of charge to youth that would not otherwise be able to afford them.