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Oxford, Miami join 'Not in Our Town' initiative

On a stage facing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Mayor Rousmaniere joined Renate and Greg Crawford last night to make a statement: Miami and Oxford will not stand for hate or discrimination of any kind. This came less than 24 hours after about 300 Miami students and community members marched around campus in the student-organized "Rally Against White Supremacy."

It's important, Greg said, because this pledge "articulates the values of the university."

Sabrina Jewell, an Oxford advocate for marginalized groups, appeared before city council to propose that Oxford become a "Gold Star City" in the "Not in Our Town" initiative.

"By engaging in this initiative, everyone will know that Oxford and Miami University will not allow for displays of hate and intolerance," Jewell said to Council on August 15. "Everyone is welcome here."

The first major public step for Oxford's initiative was the reading of a pledge at the Oxford Community Picnic by Miami's president, Miami's ambassador and Oxford's mayor.

The Working Group, the Oakland-based organization behind Not in Our Town, wrote that the pledge "brings your community together to make a unified commitment to safety, inclusion, and respect for everyone."

"By signing a pledge," The Working Group's guide to becoming a Gold Star City reads, "each person in your town commits to becoming part of the solution, and create a town where each person is valued."

Jewell told Council that she was inspired by Bowling Green and Bowling Green State University, who joined the initiative in late 2016, according to the Toledo Blade.

Going forward, Jewell and Rousmaniere hope to bring in other organizations and community members in upholding the values of Oxford, Miami, and Not in Our Town.


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