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NIOT's film Waking in Oak Creek is helping communities convene discussions from Harvard Square to the Dallas suburbs to Central Oregon about how to counter the rising tide of hate and intolerance in our country. Please send NIOT news of your own local actions.  
Screenings Spark Powerful Discussions at Harvard and Lexington Events 

by Patrice O'Neill, Filmmaker and Not In Our Town Leader

Karin Firoza, a Greater Boston Muslim youth leader, talks about uniting groups as Pardeep Kaleka looks on. (New Boston Post photo by Kara Bettis)
The Pluralism Project at Harvard and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts, along with the BRIDGES program, hosted screenings of Waking in Oak Creek last week, followed by urgent discussions with local leaders and thinkers. 

Community leaders in Lexington discuss how to bridge differences locally.
The Depot in Downtown Lexington, MA was standing room only, as town leaders and residents from the area, representatives from five law enforcement agencies, members of diverse faiths - including a large contingent of Muslims and Sikhs, school board members, superintendents, teachers, and elected officials gathered to learn about Not In Our Town and see the film. Pardeep Kaleka and Arno Michaelis, who are featured in Waking in Oak Creek, traveled with NIOT's Patrice O'Neill to lead and participate in panel discussions.

Learn more about these events on NIOT.org and at The Harvard Gazette.
NIOT Events in Oregon Feb 16th and 17th, in Texas Feb 11th

Waking in Oak Creek will also screen in the Dallas area next week. The half hour Not In Our Town film will be followed by a community discussion on Thursday, Feb. 11 at the Lone Star Auditorium in the University of Texas at Arlington The university of Texas Arlington Criminal Justice Department and the Arlington Police dept are co sponsoring the event with the NAACP and LULAC. Learn more here.

The Season of Nonviolence, a series of events sponsored by Central Oregon Community College in partnership with other community organizations, honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez and Wilma Mankiller and their work to advocate for human rights using nonviolent methods of resistance. This year the program includes two screenings of Waking in Oak Creek, in Bend and Redmond, Oregon, on February 16th and 17th. Learn more here
LA Times Highlights NIOT Leaders in Marshalltown, IA

The result of years of organizing against hate

Photo by Mark Barabak, LA Times
"The loudest voices, amplified in the heat of a presidential campaign, tend to drown out those with more nuanced views, like the regulars at the grill on Main Street, the newspaper publisher who launched an anti-bullying campaign to prevent hate crime from coming to Marshalltown, or the police chief seeking to build trust in the Latino community," writes Mark Barabak, in an Los Angeles Times feature which highlights how long term efforts to address hate and foster inclusion in Marshalltown, Iowa - including work done by the local Not In Our Town group, led by Times-Republican publisher Mike Schlesinger and Police Chief Mike Tupper - have helped inoculate the city from some of the anti-immigrant messaging of current national political campaigns. 

Read the full story here.
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