May 6 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. An Evening of Community: “Information, Awareness & Conversation”
Focus: The Historical Marker to be placed in Eatontown, representing the only documented lynching in the State of New Jersey & the Equal Justice Initiative. Connect via video Meeting ID: 893 6964 9547 Passcode 135539. Connect via Phone: Dial: 929-205-6099 or 301-715-8592. Meeting ID: 893 6964 9547 Passcode 135539. For further information, call Pastor Terrence K. Porter @ 732-747-2343.
May 7 1:00 p.m. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, First Friday Film
Based on the play written by August Wilson, the story unfolds in a Chicago recording studio in 1927 where African American band members and blues singer Ma Rainey reveal the conflicted feelings they have about their status in the white man’s world. Tensions rise between the ambitious horn player, white management, and the uncontrollable Mother of Blues. Golden Globe awarded to Chadwick Boseman.
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Viola Davis, Taylor Paige, Glynn Turman
Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes; Genre: Drama, Music; Rated: R
Click here to register for this free performance.
May 11 5:00 p.m. Race and Religion: A Conversation with Pastor Eric Manning and Professor Judith Weisenfeld
Princeton University Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students presents Pastor Eric Manning of “Mother” Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC and Professor Judith Weisenfeld of Princeton University for a discussion on race, religion, grace, and forgiveness. Click here for free registration.
May 12 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Restorative Practices in Our Community, Part I.
What are restorative practices and how can we use them in Lawrence homes, schools, and beyond? An overview with Kimberly Russell. Learn about restorative practices and why they are necessary to form a more just community. Hosted by Black in Lawrence, NJ. Facebook.com/BLACKINLAWRENCENJ/. Zoom Meeting ID: 845 0869 8719
May 13 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Struggling for the Soul of Public Education
Elise Boddie, law professor at Rutgers University, discusses the challenges of integration in the North and why school segregation is a threat to public education and to our democracy. Click here to register.
May 13 7:15 – 9:00 p.m. Black Voices Book Group
This month the group will be reading, “Big Gold Dream” by Chester Himes. All are welcome. The group meets via ‘Google Meet‘.
May 13 7:30 p.m. Vision and Value: Cotton and the Materiality of Race
May 19 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Restorative Practices in Our Community, Part II.
What are restorative practices and how can we use them in Lawrence homes, schools, and beyond? Restorative Practices in Schools with Jessica Laus. A conversation about how school discipline reflects the prison industrial complex and why restorative practices are the answer. Facebook.com/BLACKINLAWRENCENJ/. Zoom Meeting ID: 845 0869 8719
May 20 6:30 p.m. Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Discussion
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month presentation on the contributions of AAPI citizens in the United States and the need for AAPI studies to be taught in schools. Make Us Visible NJ will be facilitating the conversation and discussing how community members and educators can get involved in this meaningful work.
Panelists will include:
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal
Princeton University Asian American Studies Professor Beth Lew-Williams
Rutgers School of Education Professor Dake Zhang
Mike Keo, founder of #iamnotavirus and member of Make Us Visible CT (whose bill for Asian American studies recently passed)
Amman Seehra, Asst Director NJ Dept of Human Services, NE Regional Director of Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Cofounder and Chair of ONE Project
Khyati Joshi, Fairleigh Dickinson University Professor of Education
Sima Kumar, West Windsor Plainsboro High School South Language Arts Teacher
Click here to register for this free event.
May 22 Noon – 3:30 p.m. “Seeing The Racial Water” With Dr. Robin DiAngelo; Half Day Workshop
“Dr. DiAngelo takes participants through topics including white socialization, systemic racism and the specific ways racism manifests for white progressives. This will be a combination of lecture, structured reflection, and small group discussion designed to provide a comprehensive system analysis and identify personal complicity. It is an excellent and powerful foundational training that presents an undeniable perspective on the systemic nature of Racism and the need for a systemic remedy.” Click here for tickets, $75 – $175
May 23 4:00 p.m. 4th Annual Recitation of Names – Lost Souls Project, Community Arts Center, 721 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Any topics related to anti-racism and anti-oppression are welcome. Five spots $50 per person available for the hour. Learn and interact with each other. Explore personal and/or professional areas related to racism, privilege, and intersectionality of identities and how to invite people into diversity, equity, inclusion and justice work. Via Zoom. Click here to register.
To support this effort by signing the letter to Governor Murphy, click here.
May 1, 2021
Dear Governor Murphy, New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Legislature, Garden State Coalition of Schools, and the New Jersey Education Association,
We are Make Us Visible New Jersey, a coalition of students, parents, educators, and community members. We write to you today to urge the thoughtful and comprehensive inclusion of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) studies into K-12 curriculum for New Jersey public schools. This letter is built off of our mobilization efforts across New Jersey and the recent open letter to NYC Mayor and Chancellors from NYC parents and educators.
New Jersey has the third highest population share of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the nation, lagging only behind California and Hawaii.* Meanwhile, the recent surge in anti-Asian hate crimes and violence has emphasized the fact that our collective ignorance about AAPI history is not only dangerous for AAPI students, but also a clear disservice to all students who are growing up in an increasingly diverse, interconnected, and globalized society and economy. Importantly, we know anti-Asian discrimination today is not new, but built on a long history of systemic racism and xenophobia in this country. Nor will it go away after the pandemic subsides, as ongoing geopolitical developments only point to worsening perceptions of anyone who looks Asian.
These incidents have highlighted the importance of AAPI history for students to better understand and respect the racial and ethnic identities of their AAPI peers, to better understand the systemic roots of racism and xenophobia, and to be equipped to work towards racial justice for all. Our education needs to include the ground-breaking contributions AAPIs have made to this country and our state – for all NJ students to see AAPI role models, historical figures, writers, artists, scientists, and contemporary leaders included in the school context, including but not limited to curriculum, classroom walls, library books, lesson slides, and performances. It is critical that students learn the hardships, exclusions, and violence that AAPIs have endured over the course of this country’s history, as well as the stories of how AAPIs have worked both within their communities and in collaborations with other communities to fight against racism and discrimination. We also need to teach about the ways that our interventions and geopolitical interests abroad both shape and are shaped by anti-Asian racial narratives. Many educators are already embarking on this work. We must all learn and recognize that AAPI history is American history.
To address the discrimination and prejudice that AAPI students have been subjected to for far too long, we, as students, parents, educators, and allies of AAPI students in New Jersey public schools, urge you to take immediate actions to establish and promote an antiracist curriculum that stops the erasure of AAPI histories and stories from school curricula. Specifically, we ask you to immediately implement the following:
One, teach Asian American and Pacific Islander history to students in NJ public schools.
Two, teach AAPI children how to confront racism and teach their classmates how to support AAPI classmates, and address anti-Asian racism in anti-racism education.
Three, introduce legislation that ensures every NJ student is taught AAPI studies across K-12 grade levels and subject areas.
It is not just that this education will address racism and empower AAPI children to stand up to discrimination and hate. Including AAPI history and culture in the curricula will also tangibly benefit the entire community. We believe that by learning about the history of each member of our community – how we helped to build this nation and state together – we will be able to serve all students better. We will be more united, empathetic, and respectful to each other; we will be better equipped to engage in our diverse, interconnected and globalized society and economy; we will be able to fight racism, discrimination, and inequality; and we will be better able to build a society that offers opportunity for all individuals and communities. We look forward to collaborating with you to achieve racial representation and equality in our schools for all children.
*Joshi, K., Kelkar, M., Choi, J., Sun, R. Choi, K., Kwon, K. K., Mehrotra, R., & Chen, R. (2019). Report on the state of Asian Americans in New Jersey. Jersey Promise. Retrieved from http://jerseypromise.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Jersey-Promise-Report-Final-5.5.2019.pdf
For our monthly Continuing Conversation on Race and White Privilege, Not In Our Town Princeton will welcome Princeton University junior Isabel Lewis, who has studied abolitionist movements past and present, to lead us in an exploration of dominant media and understandings of the call to “Defund the Police.” Please plan on joining at 7pm on Monday, May 3rd, in the Zoom space provided by our Princeton Public Library partners. To receive the Zoom link for this FREE program, register by clicking this link and completing the attached Google form: REGISTER