Grantee Stories

Not In Our School

Older students mentor 1st graders in a scene from the NIOS film “Leaving a Positive Footprint,” filmed at Grimmer Elementary School in Fremont. The film was “dedicated to Victor E. and Olga Graham.”

Working Together to Create Safe, Accepting and Inclusive Schools

The Not in our Town (NIOT) movement is based on the premise that real change happens at a local level. Its starting point was NIOT films such as Waking in Oak Creek, featuring courageous people standing up to hate. Over the last 20 years, NIOT has become a national resource providing a roadmap for communities to take action.

Not in our School (NIOS) is one major branch of this movement and helps schools prevent or end bullying and intolerance. NIOS offers resources to elementary, middle and high schools which include films with accompanying lesson plans and activity guides, as well as student, parent and teacher trainings.

The materials inspire students to be upstanders and take the lead in changing their school cultures. NIOS has developed the Identity Safe and Inclusive School Program with GFF support, which schools across the country are using to transform their school culture from one where students may feel stigmatized by their identities to one where everyone feels acceptance and inclusion.


GFF has been partnering with NIOS for the past decade to work in California schools and to extend NIOS resources and direct support to low-income schools in need. Our projects to “stop hate, together” include:

  • Making the NIOS Video Action kits with 20 anti-bullying films and accompanying action guides available free of charge to schools in the Bay Area working on campaigns;
  • Providing mini grants to California low-income schools to support their NIOS activities;
  • Supporting production of an elementary school level film on the importance of being an upstander; (See Leaving a Positive Footprint film below)
  • Underwriting development of a lesson plan and curriculum guide to accompany the elementary level anti-bullying film;
  • Supporting production of an elementary school level film on family diversity, (See Our Family film below);
  • Creating major new program guides for middle and high school level students and distributing them free of charge to Bay Area low-income schools;
  • In the COVID era, holding virtual training workshops for teachers in 10 communities.

The Graham Family Foundation is a valued partner of the Not In Our School movement as we share ways to resist racism, bullying, and all forms of intolerance to create safe and inclusive schools.


Students reached in participating schools


Participating California schools in 13 school districts

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YouTube views for NIOS resources funded by GFF

Student-Led Campaign Lesson Guide
Student-Led Campaign Lesson Guide
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This guide provides a roadmap to take middle and high school students step-by-step through carrying out school campaigns.
Identity Safe and Inclusive School Program
Identity Safe and Inclusive School Program
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A guide to eradicating hate and bullying and intolerance and creating belonging.
Video Action Kit
Video Action Kit
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A comprehensive toolkit featuring 20 films, accompanying lessons, and resources designed to motivate students in grades 5-12.

Image Gallery of our projects

NIOS Films Produced with GFF Support

Leaving a Positive Footprint

Our Family

Not in Our School - Participating California School List

Bassett Unified School District
Torch Middle School

Berkeley Unified School District
Berkeley Arts Magnet School

Fremont Unified School District
Grimmer Elementary School

Fremont Union School District (Sunnyvale)
Fremont High School

Hayward Unified School District
Anthony W. Ochoa Middle School, Bret Harte School, Cesar Chavez Middle School, Hayward High School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, Mt. Eden High School, Tennyson High School, Winton Middle School

Luther Burbank School District (San Jose)
Luther Burbank Middle School

Oakland Unified School District
McClymonds High School, Oakland Technical High School, Oakland High School, Peralta Elementary School, Skyline High School

Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Aptos Junior High

Rim of the World Unified School District
Rim of the World High School

San Diego Unified School District
King-Chavez High School, Madison High School

Soledad Unified School District
Main Street Middle School, Rose Ferrero Elementary School, Soledad High School

West Contra Costa School District
Cesar Chavez Elementary School

Winters Joint Unified School District
Winters Middle School

Learn more about Not In Our Town on their website