The board of Not in Our Town Princeton (NIOT Princeton) has elected officers and adopted a new mission statement. Simona L. Brickers and Princess G. Hoagland are the new co-chairs, replacing Larry Spruill and Linda Oppenheim, who is now the secretary. Elizabeth Peck is treasurer.
Founded in 1998, NIOT Princeton presents a monthly discussion series in partnership with the Princeton Public Library. It curates racial justice articles at its website (www.NIOTPrinceton.org), makes annual Unity Awards, and sponsors book readings, workshops, film series, panels, and anti-racism demonstrations.
Brickers has been instrumental in creating and facilitating Continuing Conversations on Race and White Privilege programs on first Mondays at Princeton Public Library, and she established NIOT’s partnership with McCarter Theatre. She co-chaired the Campaign to End the New Jim Crow-Trenton, served on the NJ Child Protection Board, and volunteered with the League of Women Voters Lawrenceville. After a 24-year career in management with the U. S. Postal Service, she was an operations strategic specialist at a Fortune 500 company. With bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Phoenix, she is pursuing a doctoral degree in organizational operations.
Hoagland focuses on social, political, and racial justice and cultural and historic inclusion for the underserved population. She is also vice president of the Urban Mental Health Alliance and active in, among others, the Trent House Association, The Campaign to End the New Jim Crow-Greater Trenton, and the Trenton Civic Trust. With BS and MBA degrees from Rider University, Hoagland has more than 20 years of corporate management experience in the financial, legal and manufacturing sectors. A life-long resident of Trenton, she is married and has five children and eight grandchildren.
After a career at Princeton University Library, Oppenheim devoted her time to co-chairing NIOT Princeton. During her tenure, NIOT saw significant growth in attendance at its monthly programs at Princeton Public Library and at special programs such as a six-part Racial Literacy series. For NIOT’s participation in the YWCA’s Stand Against Racism in 2015, she led a campaign to blanket shops with Stand Against Racism posters and publish participating merchants’ photos in ads in area papers. She is active on the Social Action Committee of The Jewish Center of Princeton.
With a degree in fashion illustration from the New York Phoenix School of Design (now Pratt Institute), Peck worked many years in the graphic arts field, including at Princeton University Press. A well-known watercolorist, she contributes her design talents to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Princeton as well as to NIOT Princeton. .
Also on the board are Adele Batchelder, Caroline Clarke, Ted Fetter, Barbara Fox, Shelley Krause, Miki Mendelsohn, Hamza Nishtar, Shirley Satterfield, Roberto Schiraldi, Wilma Solomon, Fern Spruill, Don Stryker, Valeria Torres-Olivares, Joyce Trotman-Jordan, and Joyce Turner.
Not In Our Town Princeton’s new mission statement describes “a multi-racial, multi-faith group of individuals who stand together for racial justice and inclusive communities. Our focus is to promote the equitable treatment of all, and to uncover and confront white supremacy — a system which manipulates and pits all races and ethnicities against each other.”
“We aim to identify and expose the political, economic, and cultural systems which have enabled white supremacy to flourish, and to create new structures and policies which will ensure equity and inclusion for all,” says Brickers.
” In our commitment to uncovering the blight of white supremacy on our humanity, we take responsibility to address it and eliminate it in all its forms through intentional action, starting with ourselves and our communities,” says Hoagland.