An event that began eight years ago in Princeton and Trenton — demonstrations for Stand Against Racism day — grew exponentially and is now the signature campaign for the national YWCA. Not in Our Town (NIOT) wishes to thank all those who contributed to the success of Stand Against Racism days, past and present. We remember Nassau Inn employees helping make a human chain around Palmer Square, merchant participation directed by Kathleen Maguire Morolda, and well-attended rallies at Hinds Plaza — all these programs benefited from the YWCA’s leadership.
For this year’s observance, Not in Our Town (http://niotprinceton.org) photographed 100 merchants who were among those pledging to “stand against racism” by displaying posters in their stores. And this year the Princeton YWCA, implementing its motto “eliminating racism,” held an 80-person legislative breakfast, cosponsored by Lori Rabon of the Nassau Inn.
After presentations by the CEOs of the YWCAs of Trenton and Princeton, the mayors of Trenton and Princeton, and NIOT’s co-chairs Linda Oppenheim and Larry Spruill, Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, chair of the Latin American Legal Defense Fund (LALDEF), challenged all, saying that opposition to racism is merely good manners. “We should really focus on inclusion, which is a lot harder because it forces us not just to be well-mannered, but to really open our hearts and our spaces to people not like us.” Then everyone clustered in small groups, and NIOT facilitators led discussions of down-to-earth concerns about bias. This program truly fulfilled the Y’s intention: “to build community among those who work for racial justice and to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism.”
Special thanks to U.S. 1 Newspaper, the Princeton Echo, and other Community News papers for including Not in Our Town events in their calendars. We particularly appreciate the Echo’s extensive coverage in January, 2015, issue.
Members of the board
of Not In Our Town.