Unfinished Business

New Film Documents Community’s Response to Sikh Temple Shooting

Waking in Oak Creek, a new film produced by Not In Our Town in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, documents the community and law enforcement response to a Sikh temple shooting two years ago in Oak Creek, Wisc.

The film is a story of the community’s healing after a White supremacist killed six worshipers and injured four others at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin – an act of hate that forces the town to address hidden intolerances.

“Sikh, Muslim, South Asian and Arab-American communities have an additional element to contend with: greater scrutiny and suspicion after the 9/11 attacks,” wrote Deepa Iyer for NBC News on the anniversary of the shooting earlier this month. “I have heard from many community members who tell me they are routinely targeted, whether being secondarily screened at an airport, harassed for wearing a hijab or turban, or surveilled by authorities in their places of worship, student or community gatherings.”

It is this continued surveillance nationwide that requires we share the story of Oak Creek and have meaningful conversations about how to affect change in our communities – especially in light of other recent tragedies that have resulted from profiling. Not In Our Town and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services have partnered to provide free DVDs of Waking in Oak Creek to help facilitate community screenings and discussions, in addition to lesson guides for educators – all which are downloadable here.

Be sure to share these resources – and watch the film’s trailer below: