Embracing Differences | Not in Our Town

Embracing Differences

Embracing Differences

In the aftermath of a hate crime, how do teachers open a conversation with their students about hate and intolerance? After seven high school students assaulted and killed Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue, NY, local educators were shocked that this could happen in their town. At South Ocean Middle School, Principal Linda Pickford wanted to create a safe environment where her students could express their feelings about the tragedy, and share their ideas about diversity, immigration, inclusion and respect.

When Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri suggested that Principal Pickford host an art exhibit called “Embracing Our Differences,” she agreed that art was a great medium to explore these important issues, and she mounted the collection of banners on the front lawn of her school.

On the one-year anniversary of Marcelo Lucero's death, his brother Joselo visited South Ocean Middle School and spoke to the students about his experiences and his hopes for the future.  At that time, Not In Our Town filmed the exhibit for Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness our upcoming documentary film about the community response to this tragic hate crime.

Read the full story on our blog.