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Not In Our Town: Class Actions

Airs Monday, February 13, 2012 at 10:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Members of One Mississippi, a student group devoted to bridging social and ra...

Credit: Courtesy of Gary Mercer

Above: Members of One Mississippi, a student group devoted to bridging social and racial barriers at the University of Mississippi.

"Not In Our Town: Class Actions" profiles students and community members who are creating change in the wake of racism, anti-Semitism, and the traumatic consequences of bullying. The program is narrated by Yul Kwon. Kwon won the CBS reality show "Survivor: Cook Islands," during 2006’s controversial, racially-segregated season, earning himself a reputation as one of the show’s most strategic and honest players. He is currently the host of a new series, AMERICA REVEALED, which will premiere on PBS in April 2012.

Oxford, Mississippi - Two years ago, controversy erupted at the University of Mississippi over student led actions to remove traditions associated with the Confederacy and segregation. Five decades after James Meredith integrated Ole Miss, students at football games surfaced the chant "The South will rise again," a civil war expression derived from, “Save your confederate money boys, the south will rise again.”

The phrase was popularized by the southern Dixiecrats in the late 1940s, and used as a slogan by the Ku Klux Klan to oppose integration when they chanted, “Glory, glory segregation, the south will rise again.”

In the last decade, students at Ole Miss replaced the last six syllables of the football fight song, From Dixie With Love and chanted “Glory, glory hallelujah, the south will rise again” instead of the words from the song, “Glory, glory hallelujah, his truth is marching on.”

A few years earlier, the campus was rocked and divided when an African American student reported that he was verbally assaulted and pushed down a flight of stairs at an Ole Miss fraternity house.

This event inspired Jake McGraw and Melissa Cole to create an organization called One Mississippi, a student group devoted to bridging racial and social barriers on campus. When “The South will rise again,” controversy created division, One Mississippi brought students together.

Bloomington, Indiana - As Indiana University students celebrate the 2010 holiday season, the sense of calm is shattered by a series of attacks against Jewish institutions. Bloomington United, a community group created in 1998 after a white supremacist spread hate and murder on campus, reaches out to IU students and helps heal new wounds.

Bloomington’s quick and supportive response from the city’s university, police, city, and community leaders comes from experience. The community group Bloomington United was first brought together by the mayor when former Indiana University student and white supremacist Ben Smith started spreading white supremacist and anti-Semitic flyers around town.

Several months later, Korean doctoral student Won-Joon Yoon was fatally shot on his way to Bloomington’s Korean Methodist Church, the last killing during Smith’s two-state shooting spree.

Lancaster, California - On the edge of the Mojave Desert in California, educators, political leaders, and students face the dangers of bullying after teen suicides devastate two nearby towns.

A local middle school counselor initiates an anti-bullying program throughout the district and students take the lead in standing up to hate in their community.

"Not In Our Town" is on Facebook, and you can follow @notinourtown on Twitter.

Preview: Not In Our Town: Class Actions

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