Community and Legislative Forum on School Segregation in New Jersey

   

November 21, 2019 - 6:30 to 8:00 PM

Mount Zion Baptist Church in Pleasantville, NJ


Join with education, civil rights, labor, faith and local elected leaders on November 21, 2019 to discuss the pressing issue of school segregation in New Jersey. You can register to confirm your attendance here.

The symposium, organized by Building One New Jersey and held at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Pleasantville, will grapple with the serious problem and debilitating consequences of New Jersey's racially segregated schools.

And it will put forward a community and legislative response aimed at reducing segregation, strengthening communities and improving education for all students. 

It will start at 6:30 PM and end at 8:00 PM at the Mount Zion Baptist Church, 353 S New Rd, Pleasantville, NJ 08232

The convening will include experts, civil rights lawyers and historians and well as educators, parents, local leaders and state policy makers.

 Speakers include:

 

 

John C. Brittain

Olie W. Rauh Professor of Law, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law 

  

 

Ashley Bennett

Atlantic County Freeholder

 

 

 

Rev. Willie Francois

Pastor, Mount Zion Baptist Church, Pleasantville, NJ

 

 

 

Yolanda Melville, Esquire

President of the NAACP Next Generation (“NextGen”) Alumni Leadership Council

 

 

 

Frank Santo

Councilman, Galloway Township, NJ

 

 

 

Phil D. Murphy (invited)

Governor of New Jersey

 

 

 

 

 

 School Integration in New Jersey A Community and Legislative Response

Letter to Senator Booker   

Letter to Governor Murphy

Letter to Education Commissioner Repollet 

Letter to Senate President Sweeney

Letter to Speaker Coughlin

 

Draft framework for a Remedy as presented to Governor Murphy

Download the handout here  

 

Leadership Training Institute for Inclusive Communities

LEADERSHIP TRAINING BY BUILDING ONE AMERICA and the SUMMIT FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

January 9 through January 12, 2020 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. 


Because space is limited, interested individuals must apply to participate in this program.  The application is available online and can be accessed HERE. 

_______________________________________________________________________

FROM DIVERSITY TO SHARED POWER

Demographic diversity has been increasing throughout American society. While membership  and even leadership in many organizations have reflected this change, power and decision-making often fail to keep up with the racial, ethnic, generational and gender make up of our communities and institutions, including labor unions, local government, and religious congregations. This failure has left us weaker and more easily undermined by those who do not share our values of inclusion and opportunity.

One reason for this persistent power gap is that we too often confuse the visual trappings of diversity and policies of inclusion with genuine equality and political and economic integration. When members of underrepresented groups secure leadership positions they frequently begin at a significant disadvantage. Generational layers of power, privilege, experience and networks of formal and informal relationships are at play in any public arena where leadership matters, power is wielded and important decisions get made. These dynamics are taken for granted or denied by the powerful, while often unseen or not easily understood by the powerless. We frequently find ourselves in organizations, committees, boards and leadership structures that are diverse in name and appearance, but in reality are decidedly lopsided when it comes to the exercise of power.

As Frederick Douglass famously reminded us, power never did and never will be given away by those who have it to those who don’t.

Building One America’s training does not claim to make people more powerful nor does it create diversity, but it does better equip emerging leaders from diverse and working-class backgrounds to better understand and navigate the dynamics of power and politics and to have the tools to compete effectively and further themselves and their values in the public arena. Moreover, it will help individual leaders to recognize more clearly their own potential and motivations to build a powerful and meaningful public life.

Because space is limited, interested individuals must apply to participate in this program.  The application is available online and can be accessed HERE

  

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Who: This training is for leaders from all over America who want to become more effective in making a difference – including organizers, leaders and volunteers from the faith community, labor unions, electoral politics, public office holders and grassroots rank-and-file leaders. 

What: The training teaches ordinary people to unleash their capacity to impact the social, political, environmental, and economic decisions affecting their lives. The training has been designed and will be conducted by experienced organizers affiliated with Building One America. The training is unique in combining elements of leadership training developed over the past fifty years by national community organizing networks, with a contemporary analysis and strategy for developing multiracial institutional and social power to build more inclusive and equitable communities.

Topics covered include:

  • An orientation and reflection on power
  • Understanding self-interest as a way to build membership, engage allies and adversaries, and become a more focused and self-motivated leader
  • The role, value, and techniques of one-on-one organizing
  • Conducting and understanding a power analysis
  • Distinguishing the “public” from the “private” in order to build an effective public life
  • The key principles and elements of strategy and tactics and issues and action
  • Identifying and developing leaders
  • The importance of organized money
  • Principles and techniques for effective meetings
  • Personal reflection, strategic planning and developing a personal path to power

The training is not just an intellectual exercise. It challenges and helps emerging and existing leaders to identify, reflect on, and overcome internalized attitudes and beliefs that stand in the way of becoming more powerful. The goal is to produce more powerful leaders and to facilitate the expansion of more powerful and more unified multiracial coalitions and power structures.

When:  The training will take place over four days starting Thursday, January 9 through Sunday January 12, 2020.

Where: Case Western Reserve University - Tinkham Veale University Center at Case Western Reserve University, 11038 Bellflower Rd, Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Cost: Tuition plus room and board is $500 per participant

Because space is limited, interested individuals must apply to participate in this program.  The application is available online and can beaccessed HERE. 

TESTIMONIALS 

The training institute helped me become a more powerful leader, acting more strategically, efficiently, and decisively, creating greater accountability for myself and others - Eloise Henry, President, Richmond Heights (OH) City Council

 ...a very powerful training. It equipped me with the tools to reinvent myself - Rev. Rohan Hepkins, Mayor, Yeadon, PA

This is the most relevant, intense and productive conference I have ever attended - Heather Sorge, Campaign Organizer, Healthy Schools Now

Despite 40 plus years in politics, I found the 4-day training to be new, useful, and refreshing.  It was helpful in expanding my own political power and in understanding and dealing with others who are exercising theirs. Ant it led to new and significant relationships for me - Dale Miller, Member, Cuyahoga (OH) County Council

Completely caught me by surprise. I thought I knew what being a leader meant, but the training showed me parts of leadership that I knew nothing about. It really helped me with my networking skills and in my new position as President of CWRUs Black Student Union. I’m excited to see what it can do for more people in our community - Aliah Lawson Executive Chair, Black Student Union, Case Western Reserve University

Learned how our stories of powerlessness informs our own path to power. I had great moments of clarity - Ashley Bennett, Freeholder, Atlantic County

It was helpful. Extraordinarily. Thank you! - Tomea Sippio-Smith - Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PA) Education Policy Director

Training was awesome. Confirmation for me as well as new found skills – Alexis Rean-Walker, HPAE, Secretary-Treasurer

 Learned new skills for active listening and relationship development; clearer understanding of power dynamics that drive organizations and elected leaders; deeper understanding of structural causes of inequity and a path to racial integration; and practical steps to develop an inclusive and powerful network that can drive change - Tom Bullock, Member at Large, Lakewood (OH) City Council

Key learning moments were understanding my power, self interest and anger.  Thank you! – Martha Camacho-Rodriguez - Cerritos College, Trustee, Norwalk, CA

I’ve become more confident and feel that I have fully stepped into my leadership role - Safronia Perry, Executive Director, Hope Station (PA) Area Neighborhood Council

 I used to stay in the back of the room, rarely speak, and try to be invisible. The training helped me to find my voice - Darnelle Crenshaw, Student, Case Western Reserve University  

The training did a terrific job encouraging us to reflect on times when we feel powerless, and to consider how those times can help shape how we react to the world and drive us in our work. - Tim Nelson, Vice President, Braham (Minnesota) Evangelical Lutheran Church Council, Chair, Braham (Minnesota) Area Education Foundation

Thank you. The training was awesome – Taylor Picket Stokes, Rescue Mission of Trenton

The training rocked my world and gave me a new roadmap for action. Amazingly intense and perspective-shifting. Great content, compelling examples, helpful exercises and an energized group of participants. - Gary Forman, Trustee and Executive Committee Member, SOMA Action

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Event Date: 
Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 10:00am to Sunday, January 12, 2020 - 4:00pm
Event location: 
Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio
Event Fee: 
Tuition is $500 per participant (including lodging and meals)

Leadership Training Institute for Inclusive Communities

LEADERSHIP TRAINING BY BUILDING ONE AMERICA and the SUMMIT FOR CIVIL RIGHTS

September 19 - 22,  2019 at Rutgers Labor Education Center, New Brunswick, NJ         

Because space is limited, interested individuals must apply to participate in this program.  The application is available online and can be accessed HERE. 

_________________________________________________________________________________________

FROM DIVERSITY TO SHARED POWER

Demographic diversity has been increasing throughout American society. While membership - and even leadership - in many organizations have reflected this change, power and decision-making often fail to keep up with the racial, ethnic, generational and gender make up of our communities and institutions, including labor unions, local government, and religious congregations. This failure has left us weaker and more easily undermined by those who do not share our values of inclusion and opportunity.

One reason for this persistent power gap is that we too often confuse the visual trappings of diversity and policies of inclusion with genuine integration and political equality. When members of underrepresented groups secure leadership positions they frequently begin at a significant disadvantage. Generational layers of power, privilege, experience and networks of formal and informal relationships are at play in any public arena where leadership matters, power is wielded and important decisions get made. These dynamics are taken for granted or denied by the powerful, while often unseen or not easily understood by the powerless. We frequently find ourselves in organizations, committees, boards and leadership structures that are diverse in name and appearance, but in reality are decidedly lopsided when it comes to the exercise of power.

As Frederick Douglass famously reminded us, power never did and never will be given away by those who have it to those who don’t. Building One America’s training does not claim to make people more powerful or make institutions more diverse. But it does help to equip leaders from diverse backgrounds to better understand and navigate the dynamics of power and politics and to have the tools to compete more effectively and further themselves more powerfully in the public arena. Moreover, it will help individual leaders to recognize more clearly their own potential and motivations to build a powerful and meaningful public life.

Because space is limited, interested individuals must apply to participate in this program.  The application is available online and can be accessed HERE. 

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Who: This training is for leaders from all over America who want to become more effective in making a difference – including organizers, leaders and volunteers from the faith community, labor unions, electoral politics, public office holders and grassroots rank-and-file leaders. 

What: The training teaches ordinary people to unleash their capacity to impact the social, political, environmental, and economic decisions affecting their lives. The training has been designed and will be conducted by experienced organizers affiliated with Building One America. The training is unique in combining elements of leadership training developed over the past fifty years by national community organizing networks, with a contemporary analysis and strategy for developing multiracial institutional and social power to build more inclusive and equitable communities.

Topics covered include:

  • An orientation and reflection on power
  • Understanding self-interest as a way to build membership, engage allies and adversaries, and become a more focused and self-motivated leader
  • The role, value, and techniques of one-on-one organizing
  • Conducting and understanding a power analysis
  • Distinguishing the “public” from the “private” in order to build an effective public life
  • The key principles and elements of strategy and tactics and issues and action
  • Identifying and developing leaders
  • The importance of organized money
  • Principles and techniques for effective meetings
  • Personal reflection, strategic planning and developing a personal path to power

The training is not just an intellectual exercise. It challenges and helps emerging and existing leaders to identify, reflect on, and overcome internalized attitudes and beliefs that stand in the way of becoming more powerful. The goal is to produce more powerful leaders and to facilitate the expansion of more powerful and more unified multiracial coalitions and power structures.

When:  The training will take place over four days starting Thursday, September 19 and ending Sunday, September 22, 2019. 

Where: Rutgers University Labor Education Center50 Labor Center Way, New Brunswick, NJ

Cost: Tuition plus room and board is $450 per participant

Because space is limited, interested individuals must apply to participate in this program.  The application is available online and can be accessed HERE

Event Date: 
Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 10:00am to Sunday, September 22, 2019 - 3:00pm
Event location: 
Rutgrs University Labor Education Center
Event Fee: 
Tuition is $450 per participant (including lodging and meals)

Summit for Civil Rights 2019

May 2-3, 2019

A project to rebuild, reinvigorate and reignite a powerful multiracial civil rights movement in America


On May 2-3, 2019, civil rights scholars, economists, leaders and advocates gathered with labor, civic, faith and political leadership in New Brunswick, NJ to forge a renewed agenda for Building One America. Click here to see more Summit Photos. 

Please click here to view and download speakers presentations. 

The Summit for civil rights held at Rutgers University Labor Education Center was an historic gathering of some of America’s most prominent and powerful civil rights leaders. The purpose of this year’s summit was to build scholarly support and a grassroots political consensus around an ambitious agenda for progress in America - one that revisits and restores the priorities and values of the New Deal, the Great Society, and the American Civil Rights Movement. 

This year's Summit for Civil Rights was presented by The Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, The Labor Education Action Research Network at Rutgers, The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and Building One America.

The program included presentations and workshops on the power of an emerging multiracial electorate and the social and human costs of racial segregation.


There were workshops, panels and presentations about work on the ground combating segregation in schools, housing and jobs and meaningful and timely discussions on the historic role of multiracial political power in America and the critical importance of black leadership and racial justice as part of any progressive agenda.

The summit concluded with a consensuses to move forward employing leadership training, community organizing, civil rights litigation and to advance a legislative agenda that expands economic opportunity while promoting racial justice through inclusive housing, schools, jobs and infrastructure investments.

The summit was also a celebration of civil rights power and leadership with Majority Whip Congressman James E. Clyburn receiving the Vaults of Opportunity award and three civil rights women presented the Shirley Chisholm Breakthrough Leadership award by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman.

The Summit for Civil Rights thanks all of its generous sponsors and partners. 

Click here for Sponsorship Options

Click here for Clyburn Tribute

Click here for the Program

Click here for PDF of Sponsorship Packages

Click here for 2019 Summit Speakers

 

 

The Summit for Civil Rights 2017 Sponsors

  

 
 

Summit for Civil Rights 2019

May 2-3, 2019

A project to rebuild, reinvigorate and reignite a powerful multi racial civil rights movement in America

 

On May 2-3, 2019, civil rights scholars, economists, leaders and advocates will gather with labor, civic, faith and political leadership in New Brunswick, NJ to forge a renewed agenda for Building One America. 


The Summit will begin at 1:00 PM on Thursday, May 2 and end at 4:00 PM on Friday, May 3 and be held at the Rutgers University Labor Education Center50 Labor Center Way, New Brunswick, NJ. A welcome reception with Congressman Jim Clyburn will be held there on Thursday evening, May 2 at 6 PM.

Building on our last Summit for Civil Rights at the University of Minnesota Law school, leaders will come together to present a program of social and racial justice and expanded middle class opportunity for all Americans.

Our goal is to build scholarly support and a political consensus around an ambitions agenda for progress in America - one that revisits and restores the priorities and values of the New Deal, the Great Society, and the American Civil Rights MovementCentral to this goal is the belief that we cannot ignore the deep and persistent levels of racial discrimination and segregation in housing, law, finance, government, schools and work that lock in economic inequality and impede multiracial solidarity. 

This year's Summit for Civil Rights is being presented by The Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, The Labor Education Action Research Network at Rutgers, The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) and Building One America, with support from the Ford Foundation, the United Auto Workers Union and the American Postal Workers Union. The program will include presentations and workshops on: The Power of Multiracial Electoral Politics The Social and Human Costs of Racial Segregation • Campaigns that Demonstrate the Power of Civil Rights Today  and Building a Civil Rights Progressive Agenda. 

It will also include a special event: A reception and tribute to Congressman James E. Clyburn, the third highest-ranked leader in United States House of Representatives. Special guest speaker, award-winning Ella Baker Biographer, Barbara Ransby, along with Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee and Bonnie Watson Coleman will help us pay tribute to and recognize the power of civil rights women of yesterday, today and tomorrow

 

Click here to Register On Line

Click here for Sponsorship Options

Click here for Clyburn Tribute

Click here for the Preliminary Program

Click here for PDF of Sponsorship Packages

Click here for PDF of Registration & Sponsorship Form

Click here Lodging in New Brunswick

Click here for 2019 Summit Speakers

Click here for Directions to the Labor Education Center

 

 


The Summit for Civil Rights 2017 Sponsors

  

 

2019 Summit for Civil Rights

May 2-3, 2019

A project to rebuild, reinvigorate and reignite a powerful multi racial civil rights movement in America

 

On May 2-3, 2019, civil rights scholars, economists, leaders and advocates will gather with labor, civic, faith and political leadership in New Brunswick, NJ to forge a renewed agenda for Building One America. 


The Summit will begin at 1:00 PM on Thursday, May 2 and end at 4:00 PM on Friday, May 3 and be held at the Rutgers University Labor Education Center50 Labor Center Way, New Brunswick, NJ. A welcome reception with Congressman Jim Clyburn will be held there on Thursday evening, May 2 at 6 PM.

Building on our last Summit for Civil Rights at the University of Minnesota Law school, leaders will come together to present a program of social and racial justice and expanded middle class opportunity for all Americans.

Our goal is to build scholarly support and a political consensus around an ambitions agenda for progress in America - one that revisits and restores the priorities and values of the New Deal, the Great Society, and the American Civil Rights MovementCentral to this goal is the belief that we cannot ignore the deep and persistent levels of racial discrimination and segregation in housing, law, finance, government, schools and work that lock in economic inequality and impede multiracial solidarity. 

This year's Summit for Civil Rights is being presented by The Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, The Labor Education Action Research Network at Rutgers, The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) and Building One America, with support from the Ford Foundation, the United Auto Workers Union and the American Postal Workers Union. The program will include presentations and workshops on: The Power of Multiracial Electoral Politics The Social and Human Costs of Racial Segregation • Campaigns that Demonstrate the Power of Civil Rights Today  and Building a Civil Rights Progressive Agenda. 

It will also include a special event: A reception and tribute to Congressman James E. Clyburn, the third highest-ranked leader in United States House of Representatives. Special guest speaker, award-winning Ella Baker Biographer, Barbara Ransby, along with Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee and Bonnie Watson Coleman will help us pay tribute to and recognize the power of civil rights women of yesterday, today and tomorrow

 

Click here to Register On Line

Click here for Sponsorship Options

Click here for Clyburn Tribute

Click here for the Preliminary Program

Click here for PDF of Sponsorship Packages

Click here for PDF of Registration & Sponsorship Form

Click here Lodging in New Brunswick

Click here for 2019 Summit Speakers

Click here for Directions to the Labor Education Center

 

 


The Summit for Civil Rights 2017 Sponsors

  

 

Help to Build One America

This past year BOA has worked on a number of fronts including fighting school segregation in New Jersey, training emerging leaders in Ohio and working to build our Summit for Civil Rights coalition around the country with labor, civil rights, academic, faith and local elected leaders.  

At last November's Summit for Civil Rights at the University of Minnesota we pledged to advance the goals of racial justice and economic opportunity through a strategy of organizinglegislation and litigation. New Jersey was chosen for the next Summit for Civil Rights where all three approaches have been combined around a campaign to end school segregation. The next Summit for Civil Rights will be held on May 2-3, 2019 at Rutgers University, New Brunswick co-sponsored by the Labor Education Action Research Network. 

Also in 2019, Building One America's affiliate, Building One New Jersey, will hold five community and legislative events throughout the state modeled after the School Segregation and Equity Symposium held in Bloomfield last month with the Urban League of Essex County. Building One America and Building One Ohio will again conduct leadership trainings at Cleveland State University with the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and with the College of Urban Affairs. These trainings will include students as well as leaders experienced in labor, faith, elected office and civil rights. 

Details and schedule for the 2019 trainings and for the 2019 Summit will be provided to our members and supporters in the coming weeks. 

You can go to this link to make a general donation or become a sponsor.  Go to this link to become a member of Building One America or one of its affiliates, or to pay or pledge your annual commitment. The various levels of membership and dues structure are listed here.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about BOA's activity and priorities for 2019, please let us know and we'll be happy to provide you with more information.

School Segregation and Equity in New Jersey

  


Nearly 100 education, civil rights, labor, faith and local elected leaders gathered on November 30, 2018 to discuss the pressing issue of school segregation in New Jersey.

The symposium organized by the Urban League of Essex County and Building One New Jersey held at Bloomfield College grappled with “problem, consequences and solutions to New Jersey's racially segregated schools”.

The convening included experts, civil rights lawyers and historians and well as educators, parents and practitioners.

Vivian Cox Fraser, CEO of the Urban League of Essex County said the purpose was to “promote discussion and honest dialogue as well as to seek input about possible remedies to the lawsuit”.

The Urban League of Essex County is one of the plaintiffs in a sweeping lawsuit against the state of New Jersey arguing that New Jersey schools are “intensely segregated” and in violation of the state’s own constitution.

Civil Rights Lawyer and retired Rutgers professor Paul Tractenberg presented data from a new report he co-authored, the New Promise of School Integration and the Old Problem of Extreme Segregation: An Action Plan for New Jersey. 

Historians Leslie Wilson from Montclair State University and Khalil Gibran Muhammad of the Harvard Kennedy School provided historical context and personal stories that highlighted the underlying causes as well as the political, social and economic structures underpinning segregation in our society.

Professor Muhammad told the gathering that historically segregated schools were “no accident”. Their purpose, he said, was, and is, “to prepare black children for a life of servitude”. Professor Wilson warned of unintended but harmful consequences from previous efforts to achieve integration saying “we have to think hard and carefully about the outcomes we want from a meaningful school desegregation remedy”.

After a brief presentation on a draft framework for a legislative remedy by Building One New Jersey, a panel of five superintendents from an array of diverse school districts gave their reaction and provided some of their thoughts on the issue.

Thomas Ficarra, South Orange Maplewood School District, shared his experiences serving in three diverse suburban school districts: Morristown, Hamilton (Mercer County) and n0w Maplewood / South Orange School. Dr. Kendra Johnson of Montclair Public Schools talked of the importance of power dynamics when addressing racial disparities. Dr. Miguel Hernandez of Haledon Public Schools spoke about the role of relationship building among students and parents as key to success in his district. Dr. Christine Johnson cautioned about the role of private and charter schools in perpetuating segregation in an otherwise diverse district. Finally, Dr. Rocco Tomazic of Freehold Borough argued that while there were many problems to consider in addressing school segregation, a "bigger and bolder" approach to a remedy was the better way to go.

Audience members including labor leaders, local elected officials, parents and school board members, weighed in with comments and questions that reinforced the sentiment that big and bold over meek and mild was the direction the group wanted to go.

Conference organizers and participants agreed to hold similar gatherings across the state with practitioners and stakeholders and to engage legislative leadership about advancing a meaningful and inclusive process for addressing the problem and the lawsuit.

 

 

 

 

  

School Segregation and Equity in New Jersey

Sponsored by the Urban League of Essex County and Building One New Jersey.  

Speakers

Khalil

Khalil Muhammad, Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

 

Paul Tractenberg, Rutgers Law School, Professor of Law Emeritus Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor

Dr. Kendra Johnson, Montclair Public Schools Superintendent

Thomas Ficarra, South Orange Maplewood School District, Interim Superintendent

Vivian Cox Fraser, President & CEO, Urban League of Essex County

Rocco Tomazic, Freehold Borough Public Schools, Superintendent

Christine Johnson, Hoboken School District, Superintendent

Leslie Wilson, Montclair State University, Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences 

Miguel Hernandez, Haledon Public Schools, Superintendent

Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, Board Member, Bloomfield College

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robyn Brady Ince, Vice President, Education Policy and Advocacy, National Urban League

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combating School Segregation in New Jersey

 

A Plan for Promoting Inclusion and School Integration in New Jersey


On May 17, 2018 a lawsuit was filed against the state of New Jersey claiming the level of racial and economic segregation in its public schools violated its own constitution. Building One New Jersey, a group of civic, faith, community and education leaders gathered from across the state to support a positive outcome to that challenge. Building One America, the Summit for Civil Rights Project and the Institute for Metropolitan Opportunity are all providing support for this work.

To join this effort please go to this link to sign up for a Regional Organizing Committee and for Individual and Institutional membership

The group formed a steering committee and agreed to organize gatherings in different parts of the state as “listening sessions”. The meetings will seek input on the remedy from local constituency groups and leaders including school board members, parents, teachers, students and administrators as well as local elected leaders, labor leaders, local civil rights leaders and faith leaders. The effort will emphasize multiracial leadership among constituencies and in places we believe need to be included and to have their voices heard.

We agreed that we would approve an initial set of “guiding principles” as a basis for the conversations and to present relevant facts about each region and the districts as they relate to current levels of school segregation and potential outcomes of the litigation.

We will draw on our networks of civil rights, law and policy experts in New Jersey and nationally through Building One America as well as our own experienced constituency leaders and members of the state steering committee and regional organizing committees. In addition, will be providing trainings for leaders of key constituencies and organizations to prepare of ourselves for what is expected to be a protracted campaign around this very critical issue.

To join this effort please go to this link to sign up for a Regional Organizing Committee and for Individual and Institutional membership. 

Below is the outline of our plan:

 

  1. Develop a target list of districts that we believe need to be included and have an important role to play in a remedy. Our emphasis will be on diverse or increasingly diverse middle class and working class communities. [1].
  2.  We will seek to expand the members of the state steering committee. We will work to ensure geographical, racial, ethnic, gender balance, as well as representation of key constituencies and areas of expertise and experience.  
  3. We will secure a meeting with the Governor and/or appropriate members of the Murphy Administration and legislative leadership. We will use this meeting to seek support and buy-in for this process. 
  4. We will divide up the state into sub regions that include clusters of targeted school districts. This will be based on multiple criteria including legislative, housing regions[2], and county and municipal boundaries.[3]
  5. We will identify and recruit key leaders in each of these regions and sub regions to:
  • Form an organizing committee
  • Set a date for their regional listening event
  • Begin to initiate a plan of action based on a template[4] we prepare and make available.

Each regional gathering will be designed to solicit input and reactions to a set of recommendations.

Each regional gathering will seek to include:

  • School administrators
  • Board members
  • Parent and teacher organizations
  • NJEA affiliate rank and file leadership
  • Student organizations
  • Clergy and faith leaders
  • Civil Rights organizations
  • Civic organizations
  • Legislative and local elected leaders

Each regional gathering will have a similar format:

  • Explain lawsuit
  • Provide some analysis on segregation and diversity in districts
  • Get feedback (panel of leaders and experts)
  • Offer and explain principles
  • Get buy-in (panel of leaders and experts)
  • Next steps - invitation to join

And should end with commitments to:

  • Continue and expand the conversation with the regional organizing committee
  • Provide ongoing input and representation to the state steering committee
  • Send representatives to a statewide gathering in early spring with Governor and legislative leadership
  • Solicit reaction to the principles and input on remedy
  • Secure a commitment to principles of inclusion, sustainability and opportunity

Organizing and Leadership Training - Building One New Jersey will provide 4 day leadership training in November of 2018 and/or January of 2019 for up to 40 leaders at each training.These leaders will be recruited as potential organizers and/or steering committee members. Shorter trainings will be offered at the regional level throughout the process to build support and secure allies.
Fundraising - This effort will require more significant financial support as it shifts to becoming an ongoing campaign with a need for organizational support. A structure for dues, membership fees, sponsorships and training fees will be developed and funds will be solicited from members, participants, allies and potential corporate and charitable donors a well as labor unions.
The Steering Committee will deliberate - Toward the end of 2018, a significantly broader and more informed steering committee will consult with civil rights, education experts and political leaders to further narrow its recommendations for a remedy.

Our primary criteria will be that a remedy has to:

  • Have realpotential to be transformative for students and communities
  • Can be achieved legislatively and be broadly supported
  • Be economically viable and politically sustainable.

There will be a large, statewide gathering in early 2019. This gathering will include the Governor, the Education Commissioner, and key legislative leadership. It will also include education and community leaders from across the state. The meeting will set seek to secure initial commitments from the governor and legislative leadership to support the group's recommendations. A joint legislative committee will be proposed to hold hearings on the topic.

Regional groups will re-gather. Meetings will be organized throughout the state to build more support among community leaders and legislators for the recommendations.

Leaders will provide local and national expert testimony and witnesses for legislative hearings. 

Building One New Jersey and the Statewide Steering Committee Continue to campaign. We will provide logistical and communication support and leadership training for what will now be a public campaign to powerfully address New Jersey’s shameful structures of inequality in education.


[1]  Our list emphasizes and prioritizes the more fiscally strained and economically and racially diverse communities. These are mostly suburbs. This is not to exclude “non-diverse” communities (often cities and exurbs). All districts will be invited. It is more to ensure that diverse communities (often middle and working class suburbs) have a role and a voice. It is our belief that these communities have an important part to play in building multiracial, middle class support for a remedy that is both positive and broadly backed. The exclusion of these communities often leads to misunderstanding and polarization.

[2] Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) regions.

[3] BONJ has a structure (Local District Councils) that will be used as a starting point for determining the sub regions.

[4] This template will provide a suggested approach to organizing the gatherings. It will include recommended steps for communication and recruitment as well as a suggested program template that can be tailored for each region and improved upon by the local leaders as they proceed.

To join this effort please go to this link to sign up for a Regional Organizing Committee and for Individual and Institutional membership 


Links to supporting documents

 

 

Summit for Civil Rights

The Summit for Civil Rights

November 9–10, 2017

At the University of Minnesota Law School, Mondale Hall

Presented by Law & Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice, The Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity & Building One America

With generoussupport from The Kresge Foundation

The Summit for Civil Rights, held on November 9 and 10, 2017 at the University of Minnesota Law School, was a powerful expression of the people and institutions representing the forces of racial justice, social equity, inclusion and economic opportunity.

Hundreds of delegates, panelists, participants and speakers came from across the country from labor, civil rights, law, academia, the faith community, local government and national politics.The Summit demonstrated how enduring racial disparities and growing economic inequality were interconnected and mutually reinforcing problems in

American society, inextricably tied to our racially segregated structures of opportunity and power. The Summit revealed the ways in which many of those structures and institutions (including in housing, finance, education, employment and law) sustain and even profit from segregation and racial inequality.

The Summit drew lessons from our Civil Rights past to help us better understand the challenges today, who our common enemies are, and strategies for building the power needed to achieve breakthroughs against modern American Apartheid. Moreover, it showed us how the fight for racial justice and economic opportunity are one in the same and that only through that fight (and a unified agenda) can we build and sustain a multiracial political majority.

Below is a summary of the conference:


After an opening reflection by Rev. Doug Mork of Interfaith Worker Justice and a Welcome from Dean Garry Jenkins,  Professors William Jones and Myron Orfield opened the meeting.

The Summit’s opening speaker, Catherine Lhamon, Chair of the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, provided historical context for the progress toward equal opportunity in America as well as the unfinished business of the Civil Rights Movement and the threats we face today. 

Myron Orfield and a panel of experts and practitioners, moderated by Algernon Austin, gave us a stark reminder of this threat in a session titled “The Scourge of Segregation”. Orfield and panelists Paul Jargowsky, Lisa Rice and Alexander Polikoff discussed the broader impact and terrible costs of segregation in modern 

American life, warping politics, eroding cities and older submits, destroying schools, fracturing the workforce, and undermining efforts to provide economic and social justice for both the poor and middle class.


A second panel titled “How We Got Here,” moderated by Demetria McCain of the Inclusive Communities Project began with a brief presentation by David Rusk on the structural underpinnings of modern American Apartheid, including the myriad of state and national policies that have built and sustained it over the past 50 years. Panelists Bruce Haynes, 

Julian Vasquez Heilig and Betsey Julian reflected on the historical roots and real life implications of American segregation, including its role in the fracturing of working class alliances and the related politics that drive wealth and income inequality in America.


The evening session closed with a powerful speech by Derrick Johnson, the newly elected president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored P

eople (NAACP). President Johnson’s talk tied the afternoon together and set up the next day's discussion by drawing on the history of the NAACP and reminding Summit attendees that racial oppression, segregation and hatred have always been tools for the exploitation and the subjugation of working people of all colors.


A reception was held to welcome the Summit attendees and to pay tribute to Vice President Walter Mondale for the courageous role how many years of public service and especially for the role he played in the passage of the Fair Housing Act as a young Senator from Minnesota. 


In the morning after an introduction by University President Eric Kaler, Professor Will Jones moderated a dynamic discussion between Vice President Mondale and Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina on the forgotten history of the Civil Rights Movement - titled “Learning from the past to create a new, more just, future.”
Both Mondale and Clyburn told compelling and powerful stories from their own past to help reveal important and relevant lessons for today's challenges and struggles.
Vice President Mondale reminded us that racial segregation continues to be a central evil denying opportunity to millions of people and poisoning our politics while keeping us from realizing our true potential as a fully inclusive and socially just society.   

This discussion was then expanded to include a prestigious panel of leaders from labor and civil rights including Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers, William E. Spriggs, AFL-CIO and Howard University, Theodore M. Shaw, University of North Carolina School of Law and former head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Judy Beard of  the American Postal Workers Union. Panelists described the role of black workers, black leaders, and the fight for civil rights in building the power of the American labor movement in the 20th century. Panelists also described the role segregation and segregationists played (and still play) in undermining and splitting the power of organized labor and the need for a renewed alliance between labor and civil rights in America. 

 

 


 

Myron Orfield then presented a challenge to the group to consider the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement, especially the key elements of institutional power from labor, civil rights organizations, the courts and the faith community. He also reminded us that it took money, training, political and economic analysis, and organizing to build the multiracial power that defeated Jim Crow in the last century.
Orfield reminded us that many middle and working class African Americans today live in suburbs, along with working class whites, ethnic minorities and recent immigrants. These places, especially the more diverse, racially changing suburbs, hold the key to power in American politics and are ideal targets for organizing a new, multiracial coalition to support policies of inclusion and racial, social and economic justice.

A multiracial panel of constituency leaders responded. Panelists included  Rev. Terrence Melvin, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Tracey Schultz Kobylarz, Redford Twp, MI, Dr. Timothy Tee Boddie, Progressive National Baptist Church, Dr. Kimberly McGlonn, Jenkintown Borough Council, PA and Gregory Floyd, Teamsters Local 237 in New York.
Panelists each spoke of the way segregation and segregated power have impacted their organizations and harmed their constituencies. Each spoke of the contributions and progress their organizations have made in promoting inclusion and multiracial power. Panelists, however, also spoke of the limitations they and their constituencies faced and the need for broader alliances, such as those at the Summit, but also the need for racial inclusion at the highest levels of power including in politics and in the labor movement. 


In response to the challenge, Summit attendees and participants broke into three groups - litigation, legislation and organizing - and took initial steps toward forming a leadership structure to continue the work of the Summit and the goal of renewing and reinvigorating the Civil Rights Movement. After report backs and closing statements, Summit attendees agreed to reconvene in the new year to discuss and take next steps for organizing and for action. It was further agreed that a joint coordinating committee would be formed among a diverse group of leaders from each of the working groups. In the coming weeks, representatives of this committee will produce a draft document outlining the proposed purpose, goals and strategic direction of the Summit for participants’ input and review.

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Click here to view Sponsorship Opportunities 

Click here for list of Speakers

Click here for Summary of Program

Click here for PDF of Sponsorship Packages

Click here to donate

The Summit for Civil Rights 2017 Sponsors

  

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