OXFORD — Oxford City Council is seeking more information on the process of joining the ‘Not in Our Town’ Initiative. At the request of community leader Sabrina Jewell, council will consider joining the initiative after they receive further information.
The topic was brought up during public participation at the council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 15. Jewell took the podium when the floor was opened to the public.
Jewell holds several leadership positions in numerous community groups and describes herself as “an advocate for those whose voices aren’t heard — the elderly, the low income, people with mental health issues, and the LGBTQ+ community.”
She added, “I had the good fortune to attend the second Ohio Town Gown Summit several weeks ago that Miami University and the City of Oxford hosted – it was incredibly inspiring. One initiative that especially sparked our interest is the Not in Our Town Initiative, that Bowling Green and BGSU presented.”
“This is a national movement to stop hate, address bullying, and build safe inclusive communities for all,” she said. “In light of the tragedies this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, Oxford Area PFLAG would like to invite the City of Oxford, Miami University, Oxford Police Department, Talawanda School District, Oxford Citizens for Peace and Justice, the NAACP, League of Women Voters, along with community churches, the Interfaith Center, and individuals to commit to working together and explore becoming a Gold Star City in the Not in Our Town Initiative.”
“We have an upcoming occasion that would be ideal to announce this campaign — the Community Picnic and Pig Roast on Thursday, Aug. 31,” Jewell said. “The ultimate Town and Gown event. Talawanda School District and Miami University’s Director of Student Affairs and the Office of Diversity Affairs have already committed their participation in the Not in Our Town Initiative.”
“We will ask city council to authorize a table at the picnic with information about the Not in Our Town Initiative and opportunities for people to get involved,” Jewell said. “We have reached out to the Not in Our Town organization for more detailed information on becoming a part of this pro-active campaign, as well as to BGSU for details on their process to becoming involved.”
“We propose that by engaging in this initiative everyone will know that Oxford and Miami University will not allow for displays of hate and intolerance. Everyone is welcome here,” she said.
Jewell added, she has printed out the “quick start guide,” but is exploring the process of joining the initiative more in depth. Mayor Kate Rousmaniere asked her to share the information so the city would know what their endorsement entailed.
Other council members thanked Jewell for her efforts.