NIOT Princeton

March 21, 1960 in Sharpeville, South Africa

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid “pass laws”. Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination (resolution 2142 (XXI)).

Since then, the apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled. Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries, and we have built an international framework for fighting racism, guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Convention is now nearing universal ratification, yet still, in all regions, too many individuals, communities and societies suffer from the injustice and stigma that racism brings.
The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reminds us of our collective responsibility for promoting and protecting this ideal.
(This was taken from the United Nations webpage. A United States-based effort — which started right here in Princeton — is Stand Against Racism Day on April 27)

NIOT Princeton: What We Did in 2011

Not In Our Town

Annual Report of 2011 Activities

Continuing Conversations on Race continued to meet on the first Monday of each month 7:30 PM at
the Princeton Public Library throughout the year except for the summer months. The group continues to
be a popular community forum. NIOT values this activity especially because it reaches individuals who
would be less likely to attend scheduled events – a younger, working population, usually not affiliated
with a religious institution. There is considerable variety among the attenders from month to month,
balanced by a core group of five to six regulars, as well as members of NIOT.

There has been growing concern over the number of “bullying” incidents that have occurred in the
Princeton area, including several in Princeton itself. At its March meeting, NIOT members decided to
make “bullying” a major focus of NIOT activities in 2011.

NIOT joined the YWCA in their April 29, 2011 Stand Against Racism event by engaging the business
community in a commitment to end racism by displaying signs in their establishments saying “We
Stand Against Racism Today and Every Day.” NIOT purchased an ad in Town Topics which listed all
the participating businesses and submitted a letter to the editor to run concurrently with the ad. NIOT
members canvassed and distributed signs throughout the central business areas.

In May NIOT co-sponsored the film Welcome to Shelbyville at the Princeton Public Library.

NIOT’s annual Unity Award Reception took place on June 5, 2011 at the Carl Field Center on the
Princeton campus. This year’s event was an especially joyous and uplifting occasion. NIOT received
many appreciative comments recognizing its work in raising awareness about racism in the community
and honoring students who are “ role models in their efforts to promote respect for diversity and to
advance the cause of race relations.”

In July (7/5/11) NIOT was a co-sponsor in a Community Roundtable on Immigration initiated by the
Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund at Princeton Public Library. A member of NIOT
participated in the panel. There were presentations and discussion. The event was well attended, with
many members of the Latino community present.

NIOT’s Bullying Series was initiated in September (9/12/11) with the showing of the film, “Light in
the Darkness.” This excellent film, produced and developed by The Working Group, describes a
community’s response to anti-immigrant violence following the murder of an Ecuadorian resident. The
film was followed by discussion. Attenders were given index cards as they arrived and invited to
describe ‘bullying’ episodes from their own lives (anonymously). Twenty-seven cards were submitted at
the end of the meeting with many very moving and informative accounts of various kinds of bullying,
describing who helped and who didn’t, and the effects on their lives at the time and afterwards. Planning
for the “Bullying” series continued through the fall. A series of four events is under development.

In December (12/05/11) NIOT supported PPL in promoting the film, Prince Among Slaves. The film,
produced by Unity Productions Foundation, tells the harrowing true story of an African Muslim prince,
Abdul Rahman, who was captured in a war in Africa and sold into slavery to a small plantation owner
in Mississippi . He spent 40 years in slavery without ever losing his dignity or sense of self-worth. He
eventually was able to buy his release and became an ardent and effective spokesman for emancipation.

Following the film, Princeton University Professor Kwami Appiah reflected on the Abdul Rahman story.
Apiah centered his remarks around the concept of dignity, pointing out that the worst crime of slavery –
even worse than physical abuse – is the erosion of dignity. These thoughts were explored more fully in
the NIOT Continuing Conversation group that followed.

January 2012

Troubling Issue: Holocaust in Our Time

Book: Creating a New Racial Order

Creating a New Racial Order: 
How Immigration, Multiracialism, Genomics, and the Young Can Remake Race in America
Jennifer L. Hochschild, Vesla M. Weaver & Traci R. Burch

just published by Princeton University Press, which describes the book: 

“The American racial order–the beliefs, institutions, and practices that organize relationships among the nation’s races and ethnicities–is undergoing its greatest transformation since the 1960s. Creating a New Racial Order takes a groundbreaking look at the reasons behind this dramatic change, and considers how different groups of Americans are being affected.”

“This is a wide-ranging exploration of how America looks, thinks, and lives in terms of race as we go into this new millennium. Bridging political science, sociology, and the burgeoning study of DNA, the authors show us that racial order remains one of the most reliable ways of organizing our past and present as Americans, even as that order is dynamic and indeed transformed over time.”–Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard University

Hochschild also wrote Facing Up to the American Dream.. “In this compassionate but frightening book, Hochschild attributes our national distress to the ways in which whites and African Americans have come to view their own and each other’s opportunities. By examining the hopes and fears of whites and especially of blacks of various social classes, Hochschild demonstrates that America’s only unifying vision may soon vanish in the face of racial conflict and discontent.:

YWCA’s Stand Against Racism

The YWCA Princeton Announces:
Stand Against Racism
April 27, 2012
Join us. Take a stand!
The YWCA’s Stand Against Racism 2012 is a collaboration of YWCA Associations throughout the country with the goal of bringing people together from all walks of life to raise awareness that racism still exists. We are expecting that over a quarter million people will take a Stand Against Racismon April 27, 2012. Join us!
Become a Participating Site!
The YWCA Princeton is inviting organizations that believe in a society free of racism to join us in taking a Stand Against Racism by becoming a Participating Site.
As a Participating Site of the Stand Against Racism, you will host your own “Stand” at your location. It could be either private or public. Becoming a Participating Site is very easy.  There is no cost to participate. 
Strength comes from numbers! Join us on April 27, 2012 by becoming a Participating Site and help us in our fight to eliminate racism.
To learn more or to sign up, please contact Joann our National SAR Coordinator or  You can also follow the Stand Against Racism on Facebook: www.facebook/ywcaSAR
OR You Can…
Join Us!
On Friday, April 27th from 9:00 – 10:00 am in the Bramwell House Living Room.  The YWCA Princeton will host an open Stand Against Racism for the community.  All are welcome to attend.  There will be a film screening of “The Princeton Plan: 50 Years Later” featuring guest speakers; Ms. Shirley Satterfield and Mr. Henry Pannell.  Light refreshments will be served and it will take place at 59 Paul Robeson Place, Princeton.  For more information about the YWCA Princeton Stand, please contact Debra Raines, or (609) 497-2100 ext. 307.
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