Not In Our Town Princeton

Speak Out re "Ban the Box" Before June 13

The  NJ Opportunity to Compete Act, otherwise known as Ban the Box will be before the State Senate on Thursday June 13. The Campaign to End the New Jim Crow, Princeton Chapter, is staging a rally beginning at 9:30, Please urge members of the committee to support the bill. 

The Campaign to End The New Jim Crow  Princeton Chapter
The New Jersey Senate Labor Committee has called a public hearing on Thursday, June 13th, 2013 on proposed legislation S2586 also known as the Opportunity to Compete Act or Ban the Box. This legislation would remove obstacles to employment for people with prior criminal records. Racial and ethnic disparities are reflected in incarceration rates. According to the Pew Center on the States, one in 106 white men, one in 36 Hispanic men, and one in 15 African American men are incarcerated. 

Approximately 65 million Americans are potentially affected by continuing the practice of requiring individuals to admit to a prior criminal record on employment applications across the nation. Research has shown that many people with prior criminal records do not pose any greater risk of future criminal actions than people with no criminal history and are equally qualified, trustworthy and reliable candidates for employment.
Securing employment is an essential and necessary step for re-integration into society and research has demonstrated that securing employment significantly reduces the risk of recidivism.

Please take a few moments to urge members of the NJ Senate Labor Committee to support the Opportunity to Compete Act:
Senator Fred Madden – Chair:
(856) 232-6700 (Turnersville)
(856) 401-3073 (Laurel Springs)
Senator Richard Codey – Vice Chair:
(973) 535-5017
Senator Dawn Marie Addiego:
(609) 654-1498
Senator Anthony Bucco:
(973) 627-9700
Senator Sandra Cunningham – Sponsor of S2586:
(201) 451-5100


Always remember to be polite and courteous:

“Hi, (state your name). I am calling to ask the Senator to support the Opportunity to Compete Act, S2586. In a period of high unemployment, particularly for our low income neighborhoods, it is essential to dismantle any irrational barriers to appropriate employment for people who are ready and willing to work.
The  Opportunity to Compete (Ban the Box) Act addresses a barrier for people at a crucial point in their lives, when they are most likely to need and be motivated to seek employment – on their return from incarceration.  It provides a carefully constructed approach to fairness in hiring that intelligently protects the interests of job applicants, potential employers and the community.
By including enforcement provisions, it also provides a structural imperative to counter the stigma against former offenders which serves no one.
I urge you, therefore, to move Senator Cunningham’s bill forward, and demonstrate your commitment to fairness and constructive social policy.”

Orange and Black: White Privilege in Princeton

“Unpleasant social encounters resulting from white privileges and preferences became a boot camp for survival,” said an African American, Robert J. Rivers, who grew up in Princeton and graduated from Princeton University in 1953. Many would say that “unpleasant social encounters” never happen today, but I’ll bet most of those deniers are white.

Read about the speech given by Rivers in 2008. It will be fodder for the last in the series of Continuing Conversations on Race for this season, set for Monday, June 3, at 7:30 p.m. at the Princeton Public Library, entitled Tongue Tied: Rehearse What to Say. Hope to see you there. 


temporary site

This site is in transition. Here is the current blog for Not in Our Town Princeton.

Poster: We Are Standing Against Racism

A couple of merchants, new to town, have asked about where they could get the poster that Not in Our Town distributed in 2011. So here is a printable copy! Anyone who wishes to print and display it, please do!

Our hope is that Princetonwill continue to grow as a town in which the ideals of friendship, community and pride in diversity prevail.

2013 Unity Awards

Congratulations to the five winners of this year’s Unity Awards.  For the album of photos by Roland Glover, click here.

 These awards, presented at a May 19 reception at PrincetonUniversity’s Carl A. Fields Center, honor students who are role models in their efforts to promote respect for diversity and to advance the cause of race relations. Each student received a certificate; they will also receive a gift at honors assemblies in their schools, scheduled for June 4 at Princeton High School and June 12 at John WitherspoonMiddle School (JWMS).
This photo by Roland Glover shows NIOT’s Wilma Solomon (center) with  (from left, Juan Polanco, Joanne Adebayo, Luis Estrada, Jacklyn Adebayo, and Sam Nelson.) 
Eighthgraders Joanne Adebayo and Luis Estrada were honored for their personal qualities and for their participation in various activities, including leading roles in the Martin Luther King Day program at JWMS.
“This Unity award is really quite special,” said Jason Burr, principal of JWMS. “It is for those who understand about how friendship eliminates the divide, who know what friendship is all about.”
Jacklyn Adebayo, a rising senior and the sister of Joanne, was chosen because of her work as president of the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN), Growing Up Accepted in America (GAIA), and End Child Hunger Organization (ECHO). Sam Nelson, a graduating senior, received the award for building cultural bridges in such organizations as Peer Leadership, a health education program, GAIA, and MSAN.  Juan Polanco, a graduating senior, received recognition for his commitment to MSAN, Latinos Unidos, Big Brother Big Sister, and summer volunteering with the elderly. 

Jim Floyd, shown above with Nelson, Polanco, and Jacklyn Adebayo, said he was so impressed by the three that he pledged to contribute toward the expenses of their college books. 
Not in Our Town aims to speak truth about ‘everyday racism’ and other forms of prejudice and discrimination, says Wilma Solomon, NIOT president. In cooperation with the Princeton Public Library, NIOT presents a monthly discussion series, “Continuing Conversations on Race.” The organization, which consists of representatives from a dozen faith communities, also sponsors book readings, workshops, film series, panels, and anti-racism demonstrations.
“Our hope is that Princeton will continue to grow as a town in which the ideals of friendship, community and pride in diversity prevail,” says Solomon. 
Shown here, PHS counselor Lenore Deal, Princeton YWCA’s Debra Raines, and Afsheen Shamsi, a member of Not in Our Town and of the Princeton school board. 
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