NIOT Princeton

Books on Bullying for Kids

In the Sunday, October 14 NY Times book review is a list of books on bullying for children. 


By Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrated by E. B. Lewis
32 pp. Nancy Paulsen Books. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 5 to 9)


Written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein
40 pp. Candlewick Press. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 3 to 6)


By Lauren Thompson
Illustrated by Christy Hale
32 pp. Feiwel & Friends. $16.99. (Picture book; ages 5 to 9)
The reviewer, Emily Bazelon pronounces Each Kindnesspretty tough-minded for a children’s story….Still, precisely because the book is unflinching, I can imagine it doing good in the hands of a wise parent or teacher. “

Of Because Amelia Smiled, she says,  “There’s nothing the least bit objectionable, but there’s also little that’s memorable.”
Bazelon likes The Forgiveness Garden best. I can see “The Forgiveness Garden” resonating especially with children in war-torn or conflict-ridden communities. It opens a door to peacemaking and invites children to imagine for themselves what’s on the other side. And isn’t that often the first step toward kindness?”


Draft of Mission Statement

Not in Our Town is an interracial, interfaith social action group united to advance the cause of racial justice in Princeton.

We are committed to speaking truth about everyday racism and other forms of prejudice and discrimination. Our activities and programs foster social justice economic justice, and educational equity for all. Where there is conflict we promote reconciliation, with open, honest engagement and mutual respect.

The New Jim Crow

Sensitivity to Moral Flavors

“One of the most robust findings in social psychology is that people find ways to believe whatever they want to believe.” 

This comes from a Jonathan Haidt column in The Guardian, which investigates why blue-collar voters, around the world, ally themselves with the political right. It was quoted in the October 1 discussion, in the monthly series of Continuing Conversations on Race at the Princeton Public Library on “Race and the Elections.” 

From the article: 

From the point of view of moral psychology: politics at the national level is more like religion than it is like shopping. It’s more about a moral vision that unifies a nation and calls it to greatness than it is about self-interest or specific policies. In most countries, the right tends to see that more clearly than the left. In America the Republicans did the hard work of drafting their moral vision in the 1970s, and Ronald Reagan was their eloquent spokesman. Patriotism, social order, strong families, personal responsibility (not government safety nets) and free enterprise. Those are values, not government programmes.
The Democrats, in contrast, have tried to win voters’ hearts by promising to protect or expand programmes for elderly people, young people, students, poor people and the middle class. Vote for us and we’ll use government to take care of everyone! But most Americans don’t want to live in a nation based primarily on caring. That’s what families are for.

The column provoked 500 comments. 

The next Continuing Conversation on Race will be Monday, November 5, the night before the general election. Topic to be announced. 

Race and the Election: October 1

The topic for the October 1, 2012, Continuing Conversations on Race and White Privilege will be, not surprisingly, “Race and the Election.” Since the election of President Obama in 2008 there has been, in some quarters, a great sigh of relief saying something like “at last, we have moved into a post-racial era”. However, is that true?

Some other quarters aren’t about to give up their racism, whether they acknowledge it or not. Still other quarters, who really want to get to a true post-racial era, know that we are not there yet and that getting there will take a lot of time, effort and thoughtful and compassionate openness. Not In Our Town belongs to this last group.

We will consider various aspects of this election that are connected to racism. The really obvious one is the selection of the next president. There seems to be no doubt that President Obama’s race is a big factor for many. We can discuss some of those factors and how they are manifested or how they are hidden. But also there are less obvious factors – the role of race in the Tea Party and how it promotes its views and its candidates. What are the general undercurrents regarding race and government? How can we be alert to what they are? Some of these seem to relate to the idea of the “new jim crow” and some may relate to new current contest between traditional public schools and charter schools.

Bring your observations and ideas and join this discussion. Newcomers are most welcome. These sessions are a safe, secure place to discuss difficult issues. 

7:30 pm to 9:00 pm Monday, October 1
Second floor conference room of the Princeton Public Library

Or possibly in the “Princeton Room” also on the second floor.

— Ann Yasuhara

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