NIOT Princeton

Down in the Chapel — in the Penitentiary

Joshua Dubler
Down in the Chapel: Religious Life in an American Prison

Sunday, November 17th @ 3PM
Joshua Dubler has written a bold and provocative interpretation of the most religiously vibrant place in America – a state penitentiary. He will speak at Labyrinth Bookstore. As below:
Baraka, Al, Teddy, and Sayyid – four black men from South Philadelphia, two Christian and two Muslim – are serving life sentences in Pennsylvania’s maximum-security Graterford Prison. All of them work in Graterford’s chapel, a place that is at once a sanctuary for religious contemplation and an arena for disputing the workings of God and man. Day in, day out, everything is, in its twisted way, rather ordinary. And then one of them disappears.

Down in the Chapel tells the story of one week at Graterford Prison. We learn how the men at Graterford pass their time, care for themselves, and commune with their makers. We observe a variety of Muslims, Protestants, Catholics, and others, at prayer and song. And we listen in as an interloping scholar of religion tries to make sense of it all.
When prisoners turn to God, they are often scorned as con artists who fake their piety, or pitied as wretches who cling to faith because faith is all they have left. Dubler goes beyond these stereotypes to show the religious life of a prison in all its complexity. One part prison procedural, one part philosophical investigation, Down in the Chapel explores the many uses prisoners make of their religions and weighs the circumstances that make these uses possible. Gritty and visceral, meditative and searching, it is an essential study of American religion in the age of mass incarceration. 
Joshua Dubler is an assistant professor of religion at the University of Rochester. He is coauthor of Bang! Thud: World Spirit from a Texas School Book Depository. Dubler has also taught at Haverford College, Columbia University, and Villanova’s University Program at Graterford Prison.

New Jim Crow Events: 11/9, 11/13, 11/18, 11/19, 11/30

Two showings of the short film, “Redemption of the Prosecutor“, which is about prison isolation, will be shown tomorrow, Saturday, November 9 at 2 and 3:30 PM at the  Turning Point United Methodist Church in Trenton, 15 South Broad St. For details: Both Biewings will be followed by a brief but informative discussion. Also presented at this event will be information on future events and opportunities for deeper involvement. 

 Wednesday, Nov. 13  – 7 pm    John Zerillo will facilitate a book discussion of The New Jim Crow at the Lawrenceville Library, Darrah Lane and Route 1 South.             

 MONDAY, NOV. 18 at 2PM (Note date change) – Legislative Hearing on Ban the Box    Please contact Jean Ross,, if you would like to testify. Jean will assist.

Tuesday, November 19, End New Jim Crow/Princeton meeting at the Princeton Public Library 7:30 to 9:00.
Saturday, Nov. 30–Screening of “Broken on All Sides” and Forum, “Call to Action”, 9:30-3:00, Union  Baptist Church, Pennington Ave, Trenton 
Sunday, December 8–10 am12 Noon: Race, Justice and Mass Incarceration in America,  The Jewish Center, 435 Nassau St., Princeton

The Nigga Certification Program: Dr. Eddie Moore Jr.


The Carl Fields Center will host Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. , director of diversity at Brooklyn Friends School, on Thursday, November 14, at 5:30 p.m. His topic: The Nigga Certification Program, as in this YouTube video, Who Can Say the N Word.

Moore is founder and director of the White Privilege Conference.
From the event announcement:

Ignoring the n-word is not an option anymore – it’s EVERYWHERE. Let’s talk about Paula Deen. Let’s talk about Trayvon. Let’s talk about Huckleberry Finn, Hip-Hop Music, Hollywood Movies, Comedians, Family Members & more! Now is the time for courageous conversations. 

This session looks at the history of the “N-word” utilizing books, TV shows, film clips and a documentary film. The session challenges participants to examine their personal and professional histories with the N-word, examine when and /or how they were first introduced to the word and to explore the pictures and different feelings associated with the word. We will look at how current events, media, popular music and movies have used the word over the years and if the word has had any impact or influence on the millennial generation. Lastly, the session offers suggestions about the need and importance of understanding the various realities associated with the N-word and recommends how to challenge and encourage all people, but specifically young people, about the ramifications of casual or uninformed usage of this troublesome word.

Privilege and Racism: Anger and Compassion

“Male socialization has not been for relationships, it has been for control,” says Riane Eisler in a video clip, Domination, Gender and Fear.

Roberto Schiraldi, Don Stryker, and Fern Spruill will co-facilitate the Continuing Conversations on Race session on Monday, November 4, 7:30 to 9 p.m. The title: Privilege and Racism, Anger and Compassion: How do we manage our ambivalence?

In preparation, they are looking at this column by Chris Gross:
Meeting Racism, Homophobia and Close-Mindedness With Love and Compassion

and a column by Christopher Bowers, A Little White Lie: “I’m not racist, I’m colorblind”

Continuing Conversations on Race are a friendly, safe, confidential opportunity to share ideas and voice concerns. All are invited. They are planned and facilitated by Not in Our Town Princeton and held on the first Monday of the month from October through June in partnership with the Princeton Public Library.


Witherspoon at Five: VS Gun Violence

Witherspoon Presbyterian Church has moved its Noontime Recital series to Saturday afternoons, and it is now called  Witherspoon at Five. Everyone is invited to the first in this new series this Saturday, November 2, at 5 p.m. at Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church.

This first concert is in memory of Trayvon Martin and all  children lost to senseless gun violence.  It will be a concert of music by the Witherspoon Chancel Choir, spoken words by Minister William D. Carter III and Cecelia Hodges, with a video presentation tribute.

It is also a call to action for everyone to take up the charge by contacting their respective elected officials and voting for REAL gun safety legislation with background prerequisites to help diminish and eventually eradicate these senseless acts of violence!  

There is a reception after the concert. It is free with a Love Offering if desired.
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