Virtual Conversation Series — Responding to Rising Hate | Not in Our Town

Virtual Conversation Series — Responding to Rising Hate

In the summer of 2020, we began a virtual NIOT Conversations series to inform, inspire and connect our communities. Sign up for our newsletter to join us live next time. Watch video of past conversations below.

Standing up to Racism & Bias in our Schools and Communities: Countering the Backlash 

Recorded on February 10, 2022

Since January 2021, 37 U.S. states "have introduced bills or taken other steps that would limit how teachers can discuss racism and sexism in the classroom," according to an Education Week analysis. "Fourteen states have imposed these bans and restrictions either through legislation or other avenues."

Teachers and students need the basic freedom to discuss the history and present day manifestations of racism in our country, our world and communities. Age appropriate learning about U.S. history and the legacy of racism is fundamental. Creating a safe environment for all students to learn about our history and our diverse identities is critically important. So how do we pivot the conversation to a substantive discussion about how to give our children the context and knowledge they need to navigate our world? How do we continue to discuss and address issues of racism in an era of pushback?

Watch the video above and you'll learn:

  • How these laws have evolved over time 
  • How teachers, school boards, school leaders and parents are responding to concerns
  • How to talk about systemic racism and anti-racist education in a way that doesn't exclude anyone
  • How to pivot the conversation to a productive one that honors shared values, creates shared goals and positive outcomes

The conflict over teaching about racism in schools is fueled by misinformation and misunderstanding. But the debate also offers an opportunity for parents, students, educators and other members of communities to have real, productive conversations about how we want to teach the next generation about the history of racism in America, the legacy of those truths and the state of racism today. NIOT's Patrice O'Neill and Pardeep Kaleka of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee moderated the event.

Panelists include:

Access links to resources mentioned in the Webinar here.  


Complicating the Narrative of Hate Crime Coverage 

Recorded on June 8, 2021

In June, we asked local NIOT groups to invite journalists to join us for our virtual conversation, produced in partnership with the Solutions Journalism Network. The topic was "complicating the narratives." SJN's Helene Biandudi Hofer offered guidance to help journalists produce more nuanced and inclusive interviews and stories when they are reporting on hate and intolerance. Watch the entire webinar above and you'll learn more about:

  • New ways to cover stories that are fresh, inclusive and impactful
  • Don't oversimplify... the story is never as simple as it may seem
  • Do your research: Be sure to include essential historical context for the community
  • Centering storytelling on victims and survivors, not perpetrators

NIOT's Patrice O'Neill and Pardeep Kaleka of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee moderated the event.

Access links to resources mentioned in the Webinar here.  


Communications Strategies for Communities Standing Up to Hate

Recorded on March 24, 2021

The rise in Anti-Asian hate provided an urgent frame for this discussion for NIOT communities (new and existing) and any community groups standing up to hate. Pardeep Kaleka, Grande Lum,  talked about the needs of targeted communities and effective responses. Communications strategies were presented by Project Over Zero's Rachel Brown and Samantha Owen. 
  • Responding to Anti-Asian Hate. Methods for Responding and Messaging for the Community.  
  • Communications Advice: Do's and Don'ts and sample messaging resources.
  • Building structures for your stakeholder groups that are on-going, including building relationships within your community and working with law enforcement.
  • Ideas for activities that you can do on a regular basis to nurture relationships and community engagement outside of crisis moments.
  • A Call to Journalists to Engage — Message from Helene Biandudi Hofer from Solutions Journalism.

Moderators include America's Peacemakers author Grande Lum, NIOT's Patrice O'Neill and Pardeep Kaleka of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.  Download resources from this conversation, including the slides of the do's and don'ts. 


Family Members of Hate Crime Victims Speak Out on Changing Hearts, Minds and the Law

Recorded on Aug. 5, 2020

Watch our conversation with family members Pardeep Kaleka, son of Satwant Kaleka the president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin; Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer of Charlottesville; Rick and Dawn Collins, whose son Richard was killed in a hate attack in Maryland; and Victoria and Rami Jabara, siblings of Khalid Jabara, who was killed in a hate crime attack by a neighbor in Tulsa.

These leaders shared stories of loss, hope and a call to action. They talked their activism, the challenges of hate crime reporting and prosecution, and the value of community action in support of families and individuals targeted by hate.

Learn more about The Jabara-Heyer No Hate Act bill to improve hate crime reporting and prevention, and what you can do to prevent hate crimes in your community.  Learn more about this conversation, the participants and hosts.


Responding Locally to Rising Hate and Conflict — Ideas and Action Tools for Communities

Recorded on Oct. 15, 2020

The threat of hate and political violence has reached an urgent new level. Hate groups, white supremacists, and anti-government extremists present a clear danger to our country. Violent white supremacy is the most persistent and lethal domestic threat, according to a report released by the Department of Homeland Security in October 2020. Evidence of the spiraling threat became clear as a plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, start a civil war, and detonate explosives was uncovered and thwarted by the FBI and state law enforcement. How can we be proactive in our local communities in the face of escalating conflict?

Not In Our Town, Over Zero, the Divided Community Project, Bay Area Stands United Against Hate and Princeton University's Bridging Divides Initiative presented action tools and communications strategies to help communities address crisis and conflict as communities seek to address racism and prevent violence.

Download toolkits and resources related to keeping your community safe. Learn more about this conversation, the participants and hosts.


United Against Hate Week 2020 Kick Off Event

Recorded on Nov. 23, 2020

Hate groups are using everyday interactions online to recruit. How can we respond and build communities that are resilient and resistant to hate and bigotry? This virtual conversation features national experts whose work deeply explores the threat and examines how to counter the recruiting methods of white nationalist movements. 

The conversation begins with Berkeley CA Mayor Jesse Arreguin and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff launching the third annual United Against Hate Week with a community call to action. Then we talk with leading extremist group researchers Cynthia Miller-Idriss, author of Hate in the Homeland and Peter Simi, an academic who has been studying hate groups for two decades, to examine how people are recruited into a life of hate and learn from those who have experienced hate who are working to heal communities. Learn more about this conversation, the participants and hosts.