Not In Our Town Princeton

Spin the Wheel for NIOT

Community Night Out was a success, by all accounts. The Community Pool was packed and “Dunk a Cop” vied with the climbing wall for “Most Popular.”

But the Not in Our Town table was popular as well. We gave out about 250 bracelets of different colors with an inspirational word, such as Courage, Hope, Faith, Strength, and Love. We used the wheel from Princeton United Methodist Church, labeled with those colors — “step right up and spin the wheel” and gave out the color of bracelet that luck landed on. With the bracelets went one of our new bookmarks and, sometimes, a yellow handout with more info about Not in Our Town, plus a handout for Cornerstone Community Kitchen, the free meal for all on Wednesdays.

Suggestions for next year? More photos?

Photo of Larry Spruill and Barbara Fox by Lynn Irving.

Soul Sisters in the Kitchen?

DORA CHARLES and Idella Parker, two black Southern cooks, were born nearly a half century apart and likely never met. But if they did, they would be soul sisters. . .

What Idella Parker might not understand is how conditions could have changed so little since she left the kitchen of her generation’s Paula Deen, the author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, in 1950. Ms. Charles’s and Ms. Deen’s conflicting accounts about their relationship loudly echo the experiences of generations of African-American cooks and their white employers.

Read more of Rebecca Sharpless’ article in the New York Times, Soul Sisters in the Kitchen.

Princeton Experts Write on Affordable Housing

This is the press release about a book about affordable housing, which is one of NIOT Princeton’s continuing concerns. Three of the five authors are based at Princeton University.  

Douglas S. Massey is the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and director of its Office of Population Research. Elizabeth Derickson is a doctoral candidate in sociology at Princeton University. David N. Kinsey is lecturer of public and international affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and a partner in the planning consulting firm Kinsey & Hand.

Climbing Mount Laurel:
The Struggle for Affordable Housing and Social Mobility in an American Suburb

Douglas S. Massey, Len Albright, Rebecca Casciano, Elizabeth Derickson & David N. Kinsey

To read the entire book description or a sample chapter, please visit:
Under the New Jersey State Constitution as interpreted by the State Supreme Court in 1975 and 1983, municipalities are required to use their zoning authority to create realistic opportunities for a fair share of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households. Mount Laurel was the town at the center of the court decisions. As a result, Mount Laurel has become synonymous with the debate over affordable housing policy designed to create economically integrated communities. Climbing Mount Laurel undertakes a systematic evaluation of the Ethel Lawrence Homes–a housing development produced as a result of the Mount Laurel decision.

Cloth | $35.00 / £24.95 | ISBN: 9780691157290
eBook edition available

August 6: Free at the Community Pool

Everybody into the pool on Tuesday, August 6, 5 to 8 p.m. when Princeton stages Community Night Out. Not In out Town will have a table there, so look for us!

In addition to the opportunity to swim, there will be a 24-foot-high rock wall, a Dunk-a-Cop dunk tank. an inflatable Party 5 in 1 Combo, and a World Sports Games interactive combo. 

It’s free, so if you haven’t tried out the community pool, now is your chance.

Trying to Heal: the Trayvon Martin Case

A guest post by Greatly.

It has almost been a week since the verdict was returned in the Trayvon Martin case. I am feeling somewhat better and certainly now able to speak coherently about my feelings. I got the verdict from a friend who sent me a text, my television was turned off and remained that way for a few days afterwards.

I went to church on Sunday just as I do every week and it was so strange that the first person I saw as I turned onto Route 206 heading north was a black man and he was walking slowly and looked like he had a Bible in his hand and like he was praying for us all! The next two humans that I saw were also black men. I felt a little better just thinking well they made it here in this country and are even here in Princeton, just living their lives as they should.
When I got to church, in the comfort of my church family I could not hold it anymore, when my pastor stood up to say that we just have to pray for both the Martin and Zimmerman families I knew he was right. He is a black man who has grown up in America and I just started to cry, that heartbreaking cry, that hopeless cry because I just did not feel like I knew where to go from here. What do I tell my students, my son, my daughter about this country that has a justice system that is so unjust. How do I encourage young people to keep fighting the good fight when this verdict is right there for the world to see. Ok so he did not plan to kill Trayvon, he feared for his life from a 17 year old and shot him and there are NO laws on the books that will make what he did wrong. Then why does if feel so wrong in every fiber of my being? It is hard to encourage others when you don’t have any faith yourself. Once I’d let the tears flow, I did feel better but still hurt.
On Monday I was eating my lunch and a co-worker who has a son who just graduated from high school and now works in New York sat to join us. He said that his son mentioned that the traffic around Columbia University was crazy because of protesters of the verdict and he sort of scoffed. I asked why he was laughing and he said that he just could not believe that people all the way up here were even thinking about this case. I must admit that I almost blew a gasket but I simply said “I would hope that if it had been my son who was DEAD that the ENTIRE COUNTRY would protest!” Needless to say that ended the conversation and I got the normal, deading silence in response.
So that’s been what I have been trying so hard to avoid for the rest of the week.
I then read QuestLove’s [drummer for Jimmy Fallonand The Roots] response in New York magazine, and it helped a great deal to right my wrong, turn my thinking in the direction that is bearable. I’m heading to Atlanta for a week and tomorrow I will participate in one of the 100 Justice for Trayvon rallies.  I am not going to Atlanta for the march, I’m going to be there for a diversity conference next week and since the march will be there too, so will I. I will also be in D.C. next month to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s March on Washington. As we prepare for a new school year, I will have to have my energy up and ready to encourage the next generation, I hope these marches will do the trick to restore my faith in America for people who look like me.
I’m trying to heal.
Additional reflections:
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