NIOT Princeton

Class Warfare in Urban Preschools

Do you want to continue to raise the academic levels of our children in elementary schools in urban areas?

Does it make you angry that funds are about to be cut from such programs that make this happen?

What are you willing to do about it?

It is vital that we as advocates for our children step up and take the action steps necessary to make sure a child’s education is being provided. The follow report suggests major funding being lost throughout the state of NJ for preschool age children in urban areas. For the editorial, click here. I am not going to go on and on about the politics in this editorial but want to focus on how we can continue to move forward.

We have to constantly remember that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Contacting the right people who have the power to sway this for the benefit of the children is critical. Creating awareness in the areas affected is important and encouraging them to take action steps. Sometimes it’s even better if we give them specific actions steps they can take, such as who to call, write to, and a sample letter for them to use. It takes a village to raise a child and community involvement is imperative when dealing with these issues.

Posted by Lesa Day, an author, speaker and certified parenting/family coach who is the founder of The Yes I Can Child.

Minority Achievement Gap: The Courage to Love

Carole Krauthamer and Joyce Turner will lead “Continuing Conversations on Race” on Monday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Princeton Public Library.

Some say that minorities don’t test as well because those in a lower socio-economic group lack the cultural capital of the middle class. Others point to lack of parental help with homework. Single parents juggling two jobs, or recent immigrants who lack language skills, are less likely to provide academic encouragement than parents with a college education. What is the situation in Princeton and what can we do to level the playing field?

Joyce Turner teaches in the Princeton Regional Schools and directs the Springboard Homework Helpers program, an after school tutoring program at the Princeton Public Library. Carole Krauthamer is a psychologist and teacher. Both represent their faith communities on the Not in Our Town board. Their February 7 discussion is entitled: Minority Achievement Gap: The Courage to Love.

February 5: World Interfaith Harmony Event

Last October, the General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously passed Resolution A/65/PV.34 to establish World Interfaith Harmony Week. The Resolution identifies the first week of February as a time to reaffirm that “mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace.” This statement evolved from influential regional and international efforts at promoting interreligious cooperation through initiatives such as the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation and Peace and the “Common Word Between Us and You” statement addressed to Christians emphasizing love in Islam and Christianity and signed by over 130 Muslim leaders.

To promote dialogue and civility among the world’s religions, last October, the United Nations General Assembly passed a Resolution A/65/PV.34 declaring the first week of February: “World Interfaith Harmony Week”.

The three goals of the “World Interfaith Harmony Week” are to coordinate efforts of positive work; to use places of worship to foster peace; and to encourage religious clergy to declare support for peace. Observances are meant to reaffirm that “mutual understanding and inter-religious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace.”.

As many as 44 separate events are scheduled around the world, according to the World Interfaith Harmony website. In New York: 7th Annual Interreligious Prayer Service for Peace and Justice Celebrating World Interfaith Harmony Week on Saturday, February 5th, 2011 (7pm) at Church of St. Francis Xavier, (46 West 16th St. bet. 5th and 6th Ave), Manhattan NY email:

posted by Rhonda Maguire

Interfaith Celebration: Prophet of Love

The Princeton University community is invited to an interfaith celebration of Muhammad, the Prophet of Love. It promises to be an inspiring evening filled with songs, poetry and commentary. The evening is planned to focus on celebrating the noble character of the Prophet Muhammad, reflecting on his life and legacy. There will be performances by Mona Haydar and Amir Vahab. The keynote address will be given by Ustadh Hisham Mahmood.

WHAT: Celebrating Muhammad, Prophet of Love
WHERE: Rocky Commons (Nassau St. / University Place), Princeton University
WHEN: Friday, February 11th, 2011 at 8pm.
TICKETS: Free and Open to the Public
CONTACT: Sohaib Sultan at or 609-258-3042

This program is hosted by the Muslim Life Program by the Office of Religious Life at Princeton University.

Neo-African Americans

Filmmaker Kobina Aidoo will screen and discuss his documentary, “The Neo-African Americans,” at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 2, at Princeton University’s Carl A. Fields Center for Equality & Cultural Understanding located at 58 Prospect Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

The one-hour documentary addresses how rapid, voluntary immigration from Africa and the Caribbean to the United States is transforming the “African American” narrative. From Somalis in Minnesota, to Trinidadians in New York, to Afro-Cubans in Miami, to Nigerians in Maryland, the term “African-American” means something unique to everyone. But the film asks if these individuals are considered African-Americans.

The film includes interviews with social scientists, activists, and African, Caribbean and Afro-Latino immigrants now living in cities across the United States. “The Neo-African Americans” analyzes the major issues arising from black immigration– self-identification, income, black-on-black tensions, education, affirmative action and more.

Aidoo, originally from Ghana, currently works at the World Bank as a public affairs consultant in Washington, DC. He initially came to the United States to study broadcast communications at Barry University in Miami and later continued with MBA studies. He has also provided economic consulting work for the Ministry of Economy of the United Arab Emirates. He holds a Master of Public Policy degree with a specialty in International Trade and Finance from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he also served as co-chief editor of the “Africa Policy Journal.”

The event is sponsored by the University’s Carl A. Fields Center for Equality & Cultural Understanding, Black History Month Committee, Akwaaba, the Black Student Union and the Princeton Caribbean Connection. The program is part of a series of events being offered during Black History Month at the university.

(This is a press release from the university)

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