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In 'Not In Our Town,' Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Photo: (Anthony Lucero)

Bullying, racism, discrimination, hate. You know it's out there. It makes you cringe. But what are you gonna do about it? A new PBS special called "Not In Our Town: Class Actions" shows students in three US cities confronting intolerance in their hometowns — proving that there's a lot we can do about it. We just have to act.

The half-hour documentary, premiering tonight on PBS (check your local listings for times), follows groups of students in 3 American towns who refuse to sit by and let hate happen. They find creative ways to bind together: a "not in our school" anti-bullying chant in Southern California, for example, or a menorah candlelight vigil in Indiana as a response to anti-Semitism on campus. Can you even imagine the KKK defending racism on your college campus? It happened just two years ago in Oxford, Mississippi. Appalled students there protested nonviolently, driving the Klan out by refusing to engage in hateful discourse. Discrimination may persist, but those Ole Miss Rebels aren't havin' it. Not on their campus.

If you're ready to take a stand against hate in your town, check out the show tonight. Tell your friends, tell your teachers. Take it a step (or two) further. Here's how:

+ Host a screening. Or ask your professor or student council or campus club to host one. Start a dialogue. Then start a movement.

+ Organize a Not In Our School or Not On Our College Campus event. Look over these Not In Our Town resources for how to get started.

+ Submit an art project to the Not In Our Town Art Contest, they're accepting submissions until April 15.

+ Tweet out the message with a link to the trailer for the TV special and the hashtag #NIOT.