Not In Our Town: Serving an Urgent Need to Stop Hate
Not In Our Town (NIOT) is a movement to stop hate, address bullying, and build safe, inclusive communities for all. Our unique approach combines documentary storytelling with on-the-ground training, social media, and organizing tools to help local leaders build vibrant, diverse cities and towns, where everyone can participate. Launched by a PBS film campaign in 1995, Not In Our Town serves a network of hundreds of schools and communities across the country working to bridge differences and foster inclusion.
Serving an Urgent Need in Communities Nationwide
Across the U.S. each year, an estimated 250,000 people are victims of hate crimes, a dramatic manifestation of the underlying tensions and bigotry that fester beneath the surface in our communities. As Americans face bigotry fueled political messaging targeting Muslims and immigrants, and the chasm grows between police and the communities they serve, there is a vital need to bolster the work of local leaders and activists who are working to bridge differences and address these urgent challenges.
How We Work
Community involvement is at the core of NIOT’s work. We engage diverse residents (teachers, students, librarians, faith groups, and concerned community members) and connect them with local institutions (law enforcement agencies, city government, elected officials) to create broad-based, powerful working groups for change.
Storytelling and media are central to NIOT’s mission, not only to build awareness about the dangers of bigotry and bias, but also to provide communities with inspiring models for action. Our film screenings convene diverse community members with institutional and civic leaders to open discussion about local issues. NIOT then provides action plans that cities and schools can use to make changes and improve community climate. Our national PBS broadcasts have been seen by millions, and our partnerships with local public media stations have provided a trusted source for convenings and content.