A man holds a sign at a vigil held at NYU Kimmel Center, New York. Reuters
("Kia kaha" is Maori for "stay strong".)

The devastating attack that took the lives of 50 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand has shaken communities across the world.
Just after the attacks, I wrote about how  the live-streamed murders of people in worship signals an alarming escalation of global hate violence and the spread of white nationalism.
As we face the danger, we are always reminded that together, we are so much stronger than those who hate. The outpouring of love and solidarity continues to spread across the globe.

NIOT Bloomington Normal signs
Not In Our Town Bloomington-Normal brought signs to Bloomington's Islamic Center of McLean County as a show of support during midday prayer on March 15, 2019. (Credit: Mary Cullen, WGLT)

We are inspired and grateful to NIOT communities and the anti-hate groups everywhere who quickly mobilized to support their Muslim neighbors.

Please share more news and photos with us of your local actions with us at info@niot.org. 

Here are a list of actions you can take in your community.
  1. Join with your community group/faith group or neighbors and reach out to your local Mosque or Islamic Center to offer support.  Show up and stand with them to secure their service.

  2. Gather your community to remember those who were lost in New Zealand.

  3. Talk to your children, family and friends about anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, racist and anti-immigrant messages they are seeing online and seek ways to overcome misinformation and hate.

  4. Urge local leaders to meet with and show support for Muslim residents.

  5. Ask law enforcement to increase security at Mosques.

  6. Hold a teach-in about Islam.

  7. Host an interfaith event to show support for all who are targets of hate.

  8. Contact local media to urge them to develop policies to monitor and counter hate speech.

  9. Don't feed the trolls: Don't escalate the divisive, hateful rhetoric spread in online posts.

  10. Share our  to respond to and prevent hate violence.

We Can Stop Hate Together. At times like these, the power of our voices and actions are needed more than ever. 

Panelists at NIOT screenings in Alaska (left) and Calgary (right) earlier this week.

There is a great deal to learn about how to build inclusion from our neighbors to the North.

I was in Alberta, Canada this week for a series of screenings of Light in the Darkness and to host a workshop for Municipal Leaders across the province who were interested in learning about the Not In Our Town Model for action.

Numerous cities participated in the workshop in Calgary. Municipalities in the region are training their staff and leaders how to build inclusive environments and welcome all residents. While city staff members and leaders are steeped in diversity and inclusion training, leaders reported that the NIOT model helped them find new ways to engage the larger community.

After Calgary, I traveled to Wood Buffalo/Ft.McMurray, Alaska, a boom town for oil and gas exploration to collaborate with a pro-inclusion group on a screening and training for local leaders. (I'll be writing more on the Alberta Inclusion Work in an upcoming blog post on NIOT.org.)

Please share Not In Our Town action steps with others in your community. The Stop Hate Action Kits are available on mobile apps for people to easily access effective hate response methods.

Patrice O'Neill
Updates from NIOT Communities
(Credit Christopher Edwards)
(Credit: Christopher Edwards)
NIOS Bloomington Honors Teachers in Fight Against Bigotry
Teachers, faculty members, and students from McLean County gather at Illinois Wesleyan to share their stories and experiences about bullying. They come together to recognize members who have taken a stand against bullying and to share their stories. 

Read more »
Imam at West Hempstead
Imam Ibad Wali, director of the Hillside Islamic Center, speaks at the event. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp
North Hempstead Stands Up to Islamophobia with Interfaith Coalition

More than 100 community members of different faiths and ethnicities gathered at the Islamic Center of Long Island to denounce Islamophobia in response to a poster displayed earlier this month in the West Virginia House of Delegates linking Rep. Ilhan Omar with the September 2001 terrorist attacks.

Silent March in San Rafael
(via Twitter)
Silent March Supporting Dixie Name Change Evokes Civil Rights Movement

A "Silent Parade" makes its way through the Marinwood area of San Rafael, Calif. Saturday March 16, 2019 to draw attention to racial injustice and the need to change the name of the Dixie School District.

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Upcoming NIOT Events

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Bowling Green State University 5th Annual Interfaith Breakfast 

A free community event (at the Junior Fair Building) that brings together people of multiple faiths to learn about the various faiths that comprise the Bowling Green community through fellowship that includes music, food and speakers.