Social Circle presents viewing, discussion of film on hate crime

Gymnast Sarah Dietrich prepares to do her best handstand, while Audry Knighton awaits her turn in the background.

Gymnast Sarah Dietrich prepares to do her best handstand, while Audry Knighton awaits her turn in the background.

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- The Social Circle Department of Public Safety is hosting a screening and public discussion of a new PBS documentary titled "Not in Our Town: Light in the Darkness."

The movie is being shown in connection with National Crime Prevention Week and Social Circle's Not in our Town National Week of Action. It can be viewed on Sept. 19 at the Social Circle Community Center and on Sept. 20-23 at the Social Circle Fire Station. All viewings begin at 7 p.m. and are open to the public.

"I think everyone should see it. It's an excellent video which we'll show for five nights," said Public Safety Director Tom Fox. "It's part of our P.A.C.T. (Police and Citizens Together) program it's a community outreach that is informative and educational."

"Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness" tells the story of residents of a Long Island village taking action after a local immigrant is killed in a hate crime attack by seven teenagers.

"While starkly revealing the trauma of hate, the film provides a blueprint for people who want to do something before intolerance turns to violence," a press release concerning the film states.

Fox said the film was not representative of problems in Social Circle, but was designed to appeal to a broader experience.

"There's been no hate crimes reported in our city this is really to bring awareness of it nationwide. We have people who work in Atlanta and while it may not be here, they may run across it in other communities. We can work toward preventing it and we invite everyone to come," Fox said.

The film screening will be followed by a discussion about what local residents can do to prevent hate in the community and in society.

The film will also be aired on PBS and will be used by faith-based organizations, the Department of Justice Community-Oriented Policing Services Office, National League of Cities, National Hispanic Media Coalition and Welcoming America to initiate dialogue about intolerance, the press release states.

Fox said the viewing is part of an ongoing series of monthly meetings that will take place the third Monday of each month through P.A.C.T., enabling Social Circle residents and police officers to get to know one another.