NIOT Princeton

Princeton Regional Schools Honors Unity Awardees

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JW, PHS Students Receive Unity Awards
Two John Witherspoon Middle School students and four PHS students were honored last week by Not in Our Town (NIOT) for their roles in promoting respect for diversity and advancing the cause of race relations.

Eighth graders Isaiah Sigler and Sumaiyya Stephens and high school seniors Halima-Rakiya Gikandi, Jemima Nelson, Handy Pierre, and Milosh Popovic accepted the Unity Award certificates at a reception at Princeton University’s Carl. A. Fields Center on May 6.

The students will also receive a gift at honors assemblies in their schools, scheduled for June 5 at PHS and June 11 at JW.

Not In Our Town, an interracial, interfaith social action group, 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.
(This notice, with photo, was printed in the Princeton Regional Schools Newsletter. 


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WORKSHOP ANNOUNCEMENT
What White People Can Do About Racism: How to act against racism from a position of unearned (and unwanted) racial privilege

The workshop is appropriate for white people who are open to learning what to do about racism, perhaps feeling they should be doing something but not sure what. Groups may be as small as 6 people or as large as 30.  

Saturday
June 2, 2012
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Plainfield Friends Meeting House (Quakers)
225 Watchung Avenue
Plainfield, NJ  07060

Presented by the Center for the Study of White American Culture (CSWAC) Cost: $75 per participant, including lunch and free book. Sliding scale available. To register online using PayPal or a credit card visit click here. Please register by May 26.  

United States society is historically and presently structured by race.White people have a privileged position within that structure. Many white people understand this implicitly and are uncomfortable with the inherent unfairness, but do not know what to do about it. This workshop is intended to give white people some basic knowledge about: 

* racial structure
* building connections and cross-racial alliances
* finding direction on your journey as an effective change agent
* building a personal support network for the work you do

The workshop touches on several topics in an introductory way, including

~ the origin of white identity
~ colorblindness
~ feelings about cross-racial relationships
~ feelings about white identity
~ anti-racism and local change efforts
~ how to be an ally
~ the impact of racism on white people
~ how to develop a support network
~ resources for further study and personal development

Format: A 6-hour workshop offered on a single day with a morning session, a lunch break, and an afternoon session. The workshop uses didactic presentation, small group discussion, large group discussion, and a slide show presentation. Handouts are made available to participants.

The registration fee covers all materials, plus lunch. Participants will
also receive a free copy of the book Accountability and White Anti-racist
Organizing: Stories from Our Work
(which lists for $17.95).

The workshop has been developed under the care of the Center for the Study of White American Culture, Inc. (www.euroamerican.org) in Roselle, NJ, principally through the efforts of Robin Alpern and Jeff Hitchcock, who also serve as facilitators. Robin and Jeff are experienced white anti-racist
activists with a history as organizers and trainers working in cross-racial
alliances.

For more information, contact:
Robin Alpern (914) 736-5447robin.alpern@gmail.com
Jeff Hitchcock (908) 245-4972contact@euroamerican.org


Respond with "Ouch!"

The way that “Continuing Conversations on Race” works is — nothing said in the room, gets repeated outside the room. These monthly sessions are valuable, specifically for their confidentiality. However –after the  last session, Roberto Schiraldi offered some additional insights on the comments that he had made, and we welcome his thoughts for this blog.

The problem — We don’t always know how to respond to racist or biased remarks and jokes. Laugh? Get upset? Ignore? Roberto had gone to a multicultural workshop led by Dr. Tina Paone of Monmouth University. Paone leads various diversity training workshops including “Take Off the Rose-Colored Glasses, Understanding Whiteness” (a full-day workshop) and “Race Card: How Does Systemic Racism Affect People of Color” (half-day). Some of Paone’s observations come from materials developed by International Training and Development LLC, 2007. 

Click here for a preview of Ouch That Stereotype Hurts, am excellent video from that organization, which includes the following points. 


-The first response can be as simple as “ouch”

-Remember, it’s about what they said, not who they are
-Ask a question, i.e., “Do you know why you feel that way?” Sincere and open ended questions work best. 
-Assume good intent and explain impact
-Interrupt and redirect, i.e., “Excuse me, I just heard your comment.” “Whoa, let’s not go down that path.” Or just walk away. 
-Broaden to universal human behavior — generalize the behaviors to large groups, not just this particular individual or race. “I don’t think it’s a gay thing, I think it applies to everyone.” 
-Narrow the focus, make it individual, i.e., “This is how it affects me.” “You mean, all managers, are you speaking of someone in particular.”

Still, if you can’t come up with anything else — you can still say OUCH! “A simple, effective four-letter word  carries a lot of meaning and puts a pause in the conversation which gives everyone time to think about what was said. You don’t have to sit silent when you want to speak up — and your voice will make a difference.”

The next Continuing Conversation on Race will be Monday, June 4, at 7:30 p.m., at the Princeton Public Library. You’re invited to…continue the conversation.

Congratulations to Unity Award Winners


PHOTO by ROLAND GLOVER


These Princeton High School and John Witherspoon Middle School students were honored on May 6 for their efforts to promote respect for diversity and to advance the cause of race relations. 

Not in Our Town Unity Awards were presented by Carole Krauthamer, fourth from left, to (left to right) Halima-Rakiya Gikandi, Handy Pierre, Sumaiyya Stephens, Isaiah Sigler, Jemima Nelson, and Milosh Popovic.



Congratulations to the six Princeton students who received Not in Our Town Unity Awards on May 6 at a  reception at Princeton University’s Carl A. Fields Center. Each student received a certificate; they will also receive a gift at honors assemblies in their schools, scheduled for June 5 at Princeton High School and June 11 at John Witherspoon Middle School.   
 
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.   




Inside the Racist Mind

The fact that you may honestly believe you are not biased does not free you from unconscious racism. This comes from an article by Toure in Time magazine. 

The racist mind need not hate every black person it encounters, and indeed not hating all may serve as a valuable safety valve, releasing pressure and proving to the mind itself that it is not racist. Few people want to think of themselves as bad or evil,” writes Toure. 

Toure’s book “Whose Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means to be Black Now” was named a New York Times notable book in 2011. 

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