NIOT Princeton

Quakers Screen ‘Not in Our Town’ Film

The Trenton Meeting of Friends (Quakers) will present the acclaimed documentary NOT IN OUR TOWN, the inspiring ½ hour documentary film about the residents of a Montana town who stood together to say NO to a growing threat of hate crimes and racial intolerance. The community made an unmistakable declaration; since then, no serious acts of hate violence have been reported in Billings, Montana.

Join the Trenton Quakers at one of the following showings:

Thursday April 14 at 5:15 pm

Friday April 15 at 5:15 pm

Saturday April 16 at 12:30 pm followed by a discussion facilitated by Marietta Taylor, a Quaker and a member of the Princeton interfaith-interracial social action group Not in Our Town.

or Sunday April 17 at 12:30 pm

Popcorn and soda will be served. There will be no charge for this event.

The Trenton Friends Meetinghouse is located at 142 East Hanover St., corner of North Montgomery St., Trenton, NJ 08608 (right next to the YWCA). For more information call (609)278-4551 and leave a message.


The "T" Word

Guest post by a Concerned Citizen

The tragedy of 9/11 struck all of us very hard but perhaps the community most affected by this tragic event in the history of our nation is the American Muslim community. While American Muslims grieved on 9/11, they also worked side by side with ground zero rescue workers and first responders. American Muslims also gathered supplies for the rescue workers at Ground Zero.

Watch a Firefighter talk about 9/11:

Watch a First Responder talk about 9/11:

Today, however, it is sad to see how Congress has cast a wide net of suspicion around all American Muslims. The hearings on American Muslim Radicalization called by Congressman Peter King from New York are taking the country in a dangerous direction that is reminiscent of the internment of Japanese Americans after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Congressman King’s assertions with regards to American Muslims which prompted these hearings are baseless. According to a recent study based on FBI figures, only 6% of domestic terrorism on US soil between 1980 and 2005 can be attributed to Muslims. According to another study, “in exposing alleged terrorist plots, ‘the largest single source of initial information (48 of 120 cases) involved tips from the Muslim American community.’”

Most people don’t realize that American Muslims are an integral part of the very fabric of our nation. The existence of Muslims in America can be traced back to the days of slavery. Unity Production Films have made a thought provoking documentary about one such experience: A Prince Among Slaves – the story of an African (Muslim) Prince who is forced into slavery by American slave traders.

American Muslims who immigrated here in their search for a better life are now contributing members of society such as military servicemen, police officers, firefighters, first responders, doctors, lawyers and engineers. They too, are simply seeking their inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
However, they are plagued by suspicion. Every American Muslim’s loyalty and patriotism has now come into question. Young Muslims in schools everywhere have become the victims of biased-based bullying and are being called “Terrorists”. Discrimination against American Muslims at the workplace is on the rise. Hate crimes continue to occur against the American Muslim community. Finally, and perhaps most shockingly, going against the tenets of freedom of religion, townspeople everywhere are rising up to oppose the establishment of mosques in their neighborhoods.

It is an egregious error in judgment to allow the actions of a few misguided Muslims to color our view of a billion people of faith across the world. Certainly, Islam has its share of extremists just like Judaism and Christianity however these extremists are a fringe element of society and certainly not the mainstream. Dr. John Esposito from Georgetown University and Dalia Mogahed from Gallup conducted an extensive survey of Muslims around the world to figure out precisely what everyone is wondering – what do Muslims abroad think of America? This survey is documented in their book, Who Speaks for Islam and in the documentary, Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think. To summarize their findings, the vast majority of Muslims around the world condemn what happened on 9/11.

American Muslims also continue to condemn terrorist attacks at home and around the world. However, as their condemnations are not heard on prime time news, people question the silence of American Muslims whenever a terrorist attack occurs. Certainly where we are today is a sad and perhaps even a dangerous state of affairs. We stand to lose the very values that we were founded on.

Yet there is hope! There is hope in civil rights organizations like the ACLU and Not in our Town that continue to fight for the right to live our lives free of bigotry and prejudice. There is hope in the lawyers who agree to take on discrimination cases against Muslims on a pro-bono basis. There is hope in the good Samaritans who come forward to help and agree to stand as witnesses against acts of racism. There is hope in interfaith movements across the nation that seek to unite us for we have more in common than we think.

Watch our Interfaith Leaders in action:

A Concerned Citizen

Everyday Life: Micro-aggressions

Within 24 hours, two valuable events at Princeton University, both dealing with multicultural education.

A 40-year study of women at Princeton University found that women are taking a back seat when it comes to leadership positions, and it suggests reasons why. Shirley Tilghman (P.U. president) and Nan Keohane (former president of Duke and Wellesley) will discuss the report on Wednesday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m., in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall. It’s free. Keohane has just written an excellent book on leadership and will speak at the Princeton Regional Chamber breakfast on Wednesday, June 15.

More directly pertaining to race will be a presentation by Kevin Nadal, author, comedian, and professor, who speaks at a no-cost lunch on Thursday, March 24, at noon, on “Dealing with Microaggressions in Everyday Life,” at the Carl A. Fields Center. Free by RSVP by Tuesday to For an example of a “microaggression” (which can include “Shopping While Black”) see Yolanda Pierce’s post on the Kitchen Table blog.

For another opportunity to discuss multicultural misunderstandings, come to Continuing Conversations on Race on Mondays, April 4 and May 2, at the Princeton Public library. The topic on April 4 is “What’s In a Name,” and we will view part of the documentary “The Neo African Americans.”

Praying for a Full House: Glorious Diversity

Linda found an inspiring article, Synagogue: Breaking the Color Barrier, in Reform Judaism magazine. “It reveals the efforts needed to fulfill a commitment,” she says.

The article’s author, Rabbi Susan Talve, tells of holding a baby girl at her naming ceremony. Her mother was white and Jewish, her father was a non-Jewish African American. “And when I held her at her naming ceremony, I promised her: By the time you begin to notice how you fit into your surroundings, we will have a community that includes others who look like you. You will see yourself reflected in the diversity of our temple,” she wrote.

Fulfilling that promise was difficult, as you can imagine. The location was St. Louis, Missouri.

As part of the larger congregational engagement program, we asked every adult member of the congregation to read Uprooting Racism by Paul Kivel, a supportive how-to book designed to help white people understand the dynamics of racism and act on the belief that it is wrong. Over the course of a year, every group within the congregation, including the board, spent at least one meeting in a directed discussion of the book. We also participated in a series of listening programs which were often painful to hear. The Jews of color and their families spoke about being shunned, ignored, even feared. Many related how no one would sit next to them at services…

To read the whole article, click here.

Talve’s prayer speaks to the opportunity for diversity in all faith congregations: To pray for a Sukkat Shalom is to pray for a full house; a shelter that reflects creation in its glorious diversity. As we continue the holy work of uprooting the scourge of racism from this and all communities, we look forward to the time when our Jewish family will embrace Jews of all colors. Then, our Sukkat Shalom will become truly multi-racial as it was always intended to be.

Faith and Ethics in the Executive Suite

The former CEO of a global water initiative that provides clean drinking water to villages in sub-Saharan Africa will speak on “Faith and Ethics in the Executive Suite” tonight at 7:00 pm, in McCormick Hall 101, the building adjoining the Princeton University Art Museum. It will be preceded by a reception from 6:30 – 7:00 pm. Dale Jones, now vice chairman of executive search firm Heidrick and Struggles,” will be interviewed by David W. Miller, director of the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative, on his Protestant perspective on issues of business ethics, leadership, diversity and executive compensation.

The event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative with the Center for the Study of Religion

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