NIOT Princeton

In Plainsboro: Unifying Diverse Communities

Last night’s “Light in the Darkness” showing at the Princeton Public Library was wonderfully meaningful. More than sixty people — a very diverse group by age, race, and nationality — came, saw the NIOT PBS documentary, and contributed their verbal and written testimony.

We’ll post the feedback in this space soon and look forward to the NIOT discussion, “Continuing Conversations,”  on Monday, October 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the PPL’s conference room. We hope we’ll see you there!

Today we received word about another exciting opportunity to explore diversity. An interactive panel discussion will take place in Plainsboro on Wednesday, September 20, 5:45 – 8:30 p.m., as presented by the American Conference on Diversity. 

Not in Our Town Princeton focuses its work in Princeton Township and Princeton Borough, but we know that our programs, co-sponsored with the Princeton Public Library, appeal to those who live in the Greater Princeton area. Similarly, Princeton residents are encouraged to attend this event.

It’s free, but the sponsors — which include the NAMI New Jersey (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) — ask for pre-registration. Details above.


Documentary: Light in the Darkness

“Light in the Darkness” is a new documentary telling  the story of a town standing together to take action after a hate crime killing devastates their community. It addresses the growing problem of anti-immigrant violence in communities nationwide.

The film will be previewed at the Princeton Public Library, on Monday, Sep. 12 at 7 PM, ahead of its debut on PBS.  The showing, sponsored by Not in Our Town, the Library, and Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, will be followed by a discussion to examine the growing atmosphere of anti-immigrant violence and harassment and the greater issue of bullying across our community. 

 Adults and older teens are urged to attend. 

 The documentary  will have its PBS debut on Wednesday, September 21, at 10 p.m.

Estimados amigos y socios comunitarios,
Luz En La Oscuridad, es un documental sobre cómo reaccionó una comunidad después del trágico asesinato de un trabajador hispano. Este horrendo crimen fue cometido por un grupo de jóvenes locales, motivados por prejuicios anti-inmigrantes, pero refleja el creciente problema de violencia y hostigamiento en contra de los inmigrantes en muchas otras comunidades.
Permanecer en silencio ante este tipo de situaciones ayuda a perpetuar el problema. Hay que enfrentarse con los acosadores. Acuda a esta proyección (en inglés con subtítulos en español) en la Biblioteca de Princeton, el lunes 12 de septiembre a las 7 PM, y participe en la charla que se celebrará después. Habrá intérpretes disponibles. Entrada gratis.

Fourth Mondays with Barbara Flythe

Douglas A. Blackman was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal when he explored “the possibility of a story asking a provocative question: What would be revealed if American corporations were examined through the same sharp lens of historical confrontation as the one then being trained on German corporations that relied on Jewish slave labor during World War II and the Swiss banks that robbed victims of the Holocaust of their fortunes?”

The African-American interest group at Barnes & Noble, led by Barbara Flythe, will discuss his book on Monday, August 22, at 7 p.m. at the Market Fair store. The Pulitzer Prize- winning book, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, is cited as “a groundbreaking historical expose of this shameful era in American history……which unearths the lost stories of the thousands of slaves and their descendants who were forced by political, social, racist, and economic pressures into involuntary servitude and poverty.”

Flythe’s group meets on fourth Mondays. One of the co-founders of Not in Our Town, she is a Presbyterian elder and past moderator of the New Brunswick Presbytery. The fall schedule includes:

September 26, 2011 The Grace of Silence by Michelle Norris is a memoir written by this well-known and widely-respected NPR co-host in which she examines her family’s racial roots, its secrets, and eventually reveals what it means for “all that has been unsaid to be finally spoken.”

October 24, 2011 Colorblind: The Rise- of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity by Tim Wise. The author is a long-time writer and essayist on matters related to racism, justice, and diversity in contemporary culture. In this book, he argues

“against colorblindness and for a deeper color-consciousness in both public and private

practice… order to move toward authentic social and economic justice in America, it is critical that we acknowledge the diverse identities that have shaped our perceptions.”

Photo: Chain gang in Thomasville Georgia, from “Slavery by Another Name.”

Immigration’s Knotty Questions

President Obama has called for a national discussion on the thorny topic of immigration. Tonight (Tuesday, July 5) the Princeton Public Library will host just such a discussion at 6:30 p.m. Join the conversation to help come up with a bipartisan recommendation to the White House.

“We will hear from representatives of the major social sectors (education, health care, public safety, faith-based, business and public policy). The results will be transmitted to the White House,” says Maria (Charo) Juego of the Latin American Legal Defense Fund.

Pre-registration is requested (E-mail but at this late date, just show up. The event is co-sponsored by the Latin American Legal Defense Fund, YWCA Princeton, the Princeton Public Library, and Not in Our Town Princeton.

Unity Awards 2011

Not In Our Town Princeton (NIOT), an interracial, interfaith social action group, held its annual Unity Awards reception on Sunday, June 5, at Princeton University’s Carl A. Fields Center. NIOT board members Carole Krauthamer and Wilma Solomon presented the awards to Justice Hall, Chaz Taylor, Joseph Hawes, and Mira Shane. Each received a U.S. Savings Bond from NIOT and state citations from Sen. Shirley Turner and Assembly members Reed Gusciora and Bonnie Watson Coleman.

Not In Our Town members honored the students for their efforts to promote respect for diversity and to advance the cause of race relations. Justice Hall and Chaz Taylor are graduating seniors at Princeton High School (PHS). Hall belongs to three leadership groups: Faithful Princetonians, Y Scholars, and PULSE, while Taylor is a member of Committed Princetonians, and served on the Corner House Teen Advisory Committee and with the Princeton Young Achievers.

Joseph Hawes and Mira Shane, eighth graders at John Witherspoon Middle School (JW) have been involved in diverse activities, including the peer-to-peer leadership program in the eighth grade; an intercultural program (Crossings) in the seventh grade, and the annual Martin Luther King Jr. assembly.

The award ceremony and reception was attended by many supportive community friends, including Princeton Township Council members Bernie Miller, Lance Liverman and Elizabeth Lempert; Princeton Borough Councilman Kevin Wilkes; Princeton Regional School Board Member Afsheen Shamsi; Gary Snyder and Jason Burr, PHS and JW principals; and John Cronin, retiring seventh grade JW counselor; Evelyn Counts, sixth grade JW counselor; former Township mayor James Floyd and retired PHS guidance counselor, Shirley Satterfield.

Founded 12 years ago, Not In Our Town Princeton aims to speak truth about ‘everyday racism’ and other forms of prejudice and discrimination. It distributes a lapel button with the motto “PRINCETON: Let friendship & pride in diversity prevail.” In addition to honoring students with the Unity Awards, NIOT organizes anti-racism demonstrations, as well as book and community discussions on race; and co-sponsors programs at the Princeton Public Library, including a monthly “Continuing Conversations on Race” series.

Faith communities represented in Not in Our Town include the Jewish Center of Princeton, Nassau Christan Center, Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton Baha’i Community, Princeton Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Princeton United Methodist Church, St. Paul’s Church, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton, and Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church.

Photo: Carole Krauthamer (far left) and Wilma Solomon (far right) present Not in Our Town’s Unity Awards to (from left) Justice Hall, Joseph Hawes, Mira Shane, and Chaz Taylor. Photo by Roland Glover.

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