Not In Our Town Princeton

AMA: Racism is a threat to public health

On November 16, 2020, the American Medical Association made the following announcement: “Building on its June pledge to confront systemic racism and police brutality, the AMA has taken action to explicitly recognize racism as a public health threat and detailed a plan to mitigate its effects.” In doing so, the AMA outlined five actions the association will take. To read the new policy, click here.

At its June 8, 2020 meeting, the Princeton Council, joined other municipalities in asserting that racism is a public health crisis. Click here to read the complete resolution.

Continued work towards a marijuana legalization bill that centers social and racial justice

Thank you to everyone who took action and contacted their representatives in support of a marijuana legalization bill that centers social and racial justice! The United Black Agenda, a coalition of New Jersey Black leaders, outlines eight tangible ways the bill could be amended to ensure communities of color and those harmed by the drug war benefit from a legal cannabis industry, in addition to insisting that the Black and Latino Legislative Caucuses as well as community members direct how the funds from their proposed cannabis $42 excise tax get dispersed. To read their demands click here.

Suspension rate among Black students in New Jersey increased last year

POLITICO’s Carly Sitrin wrote that Black students in New Jersey were suspended from school last year at more than three times the rate of white students, according to a report from the state Department of Education. The state’s annual report on student discipline — released quietly last Thursday with no accompanying statement from the DOE — shows an 11 percent increase in total in- and out-of-school suspensions for all students from 2017-18 to 2018-19. Black students were suspended at a rate of 8.9 percent, while the suspension rate for white students was 2.7 percent, according to the report. In total, 55,971 New Jersey students received at least one in- or out-of-school suspension in 2018-19, compared to 50,283 in 2017-18. Nearly 1.4 million students attend public schools in the state. The report does not break down the numbers by race.”

The Education Law Center notes three key trends in addition to the increase in suspensions: 1)  An Increase in Police Notifications and Arrests, 2) An Increase in Violence and Substance Offenses, and 3)  A Slight Decline in Bullying Investigations.

Events Update, November, 2020

November 11 8:30 – 9:30 pm Lights, cameras, representation! Raising racially just kids in today’s media environment

“Conversation about how movies and television shape children’s ideas about race and ethnicity, what we can do to encourage the development of more high-quality racial representations in TV and movies, and how we can help the children we love critically engage critically with media.”

November 12 7:00 pm Eddie Glaude, Hilton Als, and Imani Perry discuss James Baldwin’s No Name in the Street. Click here to register.

November 13 4:30 pm Symposium on “The 175th Anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s Tour of Ireland”

The symposium explores the four months that American social reformer and abolitionist Douglass spent in Ireland in 1845.  Free; registration required.

November 16 noon – 1:00 pm Exposing Caste Discrimination in the United States

Phillip Martin and Dr. Suraj Yengde for a discussion on how caste discrimination has followed Indian, Nepalese, and other South Asian immigrants as they settle in the United States. Click here to register for this Zoom webinar.

November 16 8:30 – 9:30 pm Nurturing Resilience & Joy in/among Young BIPOC Children, Part 1: Focus on the Needs of Parents & Caregivers

  • What big challenges must parents, caregivers, and educators meet if we are to nurture young children who are resilient and joyful and recognize each other’s full humanity? 
  • What tools, resources, and community do we need to help meet those challenges?

November 16 and 17 11:00 am – 5:00 pm  Virtual,Two-Day Fall Institute on Race

Led by Beyond Diversity instructors. To register for the Institute and learn more about Beyond Diversity, click here. Tuition: $100.

November 17 4:30 pm The Princeton Fugitive Slave: The Trials of James Collins Johnson

Conversation with Lolita Buckner Inniss & Miguel Centeno. Presented by the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and cosponsored by Labyrinth.  Click here to register

November 18 11:30 am Racism & Reconstruction in New Jersey

During Chhange’s November Virtual Lunch & Learn, Racism & Reconstruction in New Jersey, Dr. Walter D. Greason of Monmouth University  will discuss the waves of political reconstruction that have shaped New Jersey’s race relations and the future of racism and equality in our state.  Click here to register.  If you are unable to register online, please email or call Nicole Rizzuto, Program Manager, at 862-202-6846.

November 19 8:30 – 9:30 pm Nurturing Resilience & Joy in/among Young BIPOC Children, Part 2: Focus on the Needs of Educators

November 21 7:00 pm Welcome to Matteson! Passage Theatre live online play reading

Written by Inda Craig-Galván and directed by Andrew Binger, the play involves “a suburban couple hosting a welcome-to-the-neighborhood dinner party for their new neighbors — a couple recently (forcibly) relocated from Chicago’s roughest housing project — and it’s anything but welcoming. A dark intra-racial comedy about reverse gentrification and how we deal with the “other” when the other looks just like us.” A recording of the live performance will be available from 12:01am on Sunday, November 22 until 11:59pm on November 24. Click here to buy a ticket, $10 per attendee. At the interview with Inda Craig-Galván, she will share her process for creating this compelling theatrical piece premiering on November 11.

November 22 noon – 1 pm David W. Blight will discuss Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Book Breaks. Click here to register.

Legalization MUST Have Reparations

Legalize cannabis with racial and social justice at the forefront


Last week, voters made history by saying YES to legalizing cannabis in the Garden State. As New Jersey begins to legalize, New Jersey must repair the devastation wrought by the failed drug war on Black and brown communities, and forge an equitable future.

Urge lawmakers: It’s critical New Jersey legalizes the right way. That means we must decriminalize now, and pass legislation to implement legalization that centers racial and social justice. Legislators must immediately pass cannabis decriminalization (A1897/S2535) and to amend the cannabis legalization implementation bill (S21/A21) to invest in communities most harmed by the War on Drugs.

Click to Contact your two assembly people and your Senator and tell them:

SUBJECT: Legalize cannabis with racial and social justice at the forefront

We ask for three key amendments to S21/A21:
• Allocate tax revenue from legalization to reinvest in the communities that have faced disproportionate harm from prohibition, allowing for the additional support for community-centered services, including job training, housing assistance, and healthcare services.

• Prioritize the licensing of people from disproportionately impacted areas, those with prior cannabis-related criminal records, and their immediate families by increasing the number of licenses reserved for the group, preserving majority ownership, and creating funding opportunities to help people enter into the industry.

• Restore ongoing funding for expungement to ensure that it is accessible for individuals criminalized due to cannabis prohibition.

Also contact
Senate President Stephen Sweeney   PH:(856) 339-0808      EMAIL: SENSWEENEY@NJLEG.ORG
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin PH:(732) 855-7441 EMAIL:

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