Not in Our Town
Not In Our Town Bowling Green was created to champion diversity and advance the mission of guiding and inspiring people and the community to work together to stop hate and build safe, inclusive environments for all. This movement exists to address acts of intolerance and discrimination. Through the partnership of Bowling Green State University and the City of Bowling Green, Ohio, those involved with Not In Our Town pledge to stop bigotry before it starts and stand against any and all forms of hate.
On Friday, November 18, 2016, nearly 400 people walked in downtown Bowling Green and on the campus of Bowling Green State University as part of the Not In Our Town, an organization that strives to stop hate and build safe, inclusive environments, an initiative that the both the City and University share.
The 30-minute Peace March led by BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey and Bowling Green Mayor Richard Edwards began at noon at Main and Wooster streets, continued east on Wooster to Thurston Street, where it turned north to the BGSU Student Union parking lot, and concluded at the oval in front of the Student Union where walkers gathered, cheered, held signs promoting peace and smiled for the many picture takers who were capturing a very pivotal moment on the BGSU campus. Throughout the March, the participants were greeted by passing motorists who honked in support.
Also marching was Thomas Gibson, BGSU vice president for student affairs and vice provost who commented on the event, “We must be ever vigilant in ensuring that there is no place for racism, sexism, homophobia, intolerance or other bias at Bowling Green State University. There are members of our community who do not feel safe. That is unacceptable.”
Every participant agreed, the march came at the right time.
One student added, "For all students regardless of their age, religion, gender, sexuality, everything...and I think in the results of the election, you know, hate crimes have gone up. I feel as though every student should feel safe going to school and I think this peace march has just been an amazing opportunity for us to show what we believe in," said BGSU student, Aurelian Greeno.
Overall the campus and community believes Bowling Green State University and Bowling Green City is a safe, loving and accepting place but the hope is that the march set the tone for a more tolerant future.