Take a Stand During 'Not In Our Town' Week of Action

PBS Documentary Inspires Communities to Fight Hate Crimes

August 18, 2011

MPAC announces a partnership with the film makers of “Not in Our Town: Light in the Darkness,” a new PBS documentary, to find ways to prevent hate crimes and anti-immigrant violence.

The documentary tells the story of residents of Patchogue, a village on the south shore of Long Island, NY, taking action after a local resident and immigrant is killed in a hate crime attack.

In 2008, a series of attacks by a group of seven local teenagers against Latino residents ended with the death of 37-year-old Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant, who had been a Patchogue resident for 13 years. Filmed over a two-year period, the documentary follows Mayor Paul Pontieri, the victim’s brother Joselo Lucero, community leaders, residents and students as they openly address the underlying causes of the violence, work to heal divisions and take steps to ensure everyone in their village will be safe and respected. The film airs nationwide on PBS stations on Sept. 21. (Check your local listings.)

While starkly revealing the trauma of hate, the film provides a blueprint for people who want to do something before intolerance turns to violence.

“Not in Our Town” has grown from a PBS documentary into a national campaign to connect people working together to take action against hate and create safe, inclusive communities. Developed by The Working Group in 1995, “Not In Our Town” began when a PBS documentary told the story of how residents of Billings, MO, joined together to respond to a series of hate crimes. This simple, powerful story of people banding together struck a chord with audiences and created a model that inspired viewers around the country to hold their own campaigns against intolerance.   Learn more at NIOT.org

As part of Not in Our Town National Week of Action, Sept. 18-24, communities throughout the country will host screenings, events and discussions on hate crime prevention, working to develop new ways to make their towns safer.

Here’s how you can get involved:

“Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness” was produced by The Working Group. Major support for this program is provided by PBS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust. Additional support has been provided by the Reva and David Logan FoundationThe Werner-Kohnstamm Family Fund and Public Welfare Foundation.

 -- Deana Nassar
Hollywood Liaison

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