Building One New Jersey Policy Forum on Race, Place and Opportunity at Princeton University

register buttonPolicy Forum on Race, Place and Opportunity in New Jersey - Princeton University, December 16, 2016 – 1 PM to 4 PM

When: Friday, December 16, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM - there will be a short reception afterward.

Where: The forum will take place at the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University.

You can register for the forum hereSponsorship opportunities are also available.  

Please join Building One New Jersey for a forum on Race, Place, and Opportunity in New Jersey.  It will take place at the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University on Friday, December 16, from 1 pm to 4 pm.

Our conversation on December 16 will explore the intersection of these forces and make a compelling case that the enduring legacy and current crisis of racial and economic segregation in our society is preventing all of us from realizing our full potential politically, socially and economically.

Princeton professor Mitchell Duneier will discuss his new book Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea. It is an important and well-timed examination of the legacy of the ghetto as a 500 year old social, psychological, and physical construct as documented by renowned African American scholars throughout the twentieth century. It is a history that informs our understanding of present day segregation in America (and New Jersey) including its impact on our current political dysfunction, policy failures and inability to respond effectively - and even speak coherently - to the overlapping issues of racial justice and economic inequality.

Other presenters will provide context including political analysis related to the recent election from Algernon Austin, former director of the Economic Policy Institute's Program on Race and the Economy, and Lawrence Levy of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University as well as a panel of local leaders including Rutgers law professor Elise Boddie, former director of litigation for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

The forum will close with a brief holiday reception and award ceremony recognizing Building One New Jersey’s allies and champions of economic and racial justice including: Montclair Councilman and NJEA Secretary Treasurer, Sean Spiller; John Ballantyneof the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters; William Castner of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield; Reverend Dr. Lester Taylorof the General Baptist Convention; Antoinette Brevardof St. Luke CDC and Marlene Lao-Collinsof Catholic Charities.

There will also be a tribute to Mayor Lizette Parker, Building One New Jersey’s 2014 Elected Leader of the Year, who tragically and unexpectedly passed away earlier this year.

In the aftermath of a bitter presidential fight and the opening of New Jersey’s 2017 race for governor, some might question the relevance of this topic or even its usefulness in light of the racial divide that seems to define our politics today. But racial justice and economic opportunity are not mutually exclusive nor are they competing interests. For working people of all colors and backgrounds, they are inextricably linked and must be untangled if we are to effectively build and sustain multi-racial coalitions powerful enough to advance our common interests and defend our shared values.

You can register on line at buildingoneamerca.org or email info@buildingoneamerica.org for more information.

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Featured Speakers
Overview and Program

BOA Labor/Civil Rights Rights Document 

File Attachment: 

Building One New Jersey

Restoring the Historic and Powerful Alliance of Labor and Civil Rights for Racial Justice and Economic Opportunity

Building One America held its first in a series Labor / Civil Rights forums in New Jersey on December 17, 2015 with national speakers and local union leaders joined by prominent clergy, civil-rights and civic leaders from across the state.

The forum, expertly moderated by Dr. Diane Campbell and Rev. John Scotland of Building One New Jersey, was opened by Rev. Dr. Guy Campbell, President of the General Baptist Convention followed by a moving primer on the all too forgotten history of organized labor and the civil rights movement by A. Philip Randolph Institute President, Clayola Brown.

After a sobering presentation (the Architecture of Segregation) about the shameful continued existence and dramatic growth of racial segregation in American and the tragic consequences of concentrated poverty by Paul Jargowsky of the Center for Urban Research and Urban Education at Rutgers University, a panel of local leaders provided meaningful context. 

Each offered powerful insight from their own stories and discussed the real-life implications for their organization’s members, families, and communities.

Panelists included Sherryl Gordon of AFSCME Council 1, Sean Spiller from the New Jersey Education Association, Milly Silva with 1199 SEIU, Richard Tolson of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers and Lionel Leach of the Communication Workers of America Local 1039.

After a stirring call to actionfrom Rev. Terrence Melvin, president of the International Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, leaders from each of the participating labor, religious and civil rights groups committed to participate with Building One New Jersey to build on the day’s success.

They committed to reconvene early in 2016 to initiate a program of leadership training and action to advance and promote economic opportunity and racial inclusion around the issues of housing, schools, jobs and justice.

The day closed with a message of support and solidarity from prominent national NAACP board member, Ambassador Philip Murphy.

Building One New Jersey and Building One America want to thank the generous sponsors who made this forum possible: Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ, Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, IUOE Local 68, LIUNA Local 55, Local 195, IFPTE, Senate President Steve Sweeney, NJ Education Association, PBA Local 105, SEIU 1199, AFSCME Council 1, Shiloh Baptist Church, Isles, Inc, Community Presbyterian Church, CWA Local 1039, CWA Local 1084, Murphy Endeavors LLC, PA Conference of Teamsters 

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Building One Ohio Labor/Civil Rights Forum

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Restoring the Historic and Powerful Alliance

of Labor and Civil Rights

for Racial Justice

and Economic Opportunity

Friday, May 6, 2016 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Cleveland State University, Wolstein Center

2000 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio

Legendary labor leader A. Philip Randolph and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. repeatedly told their supporters that the political forces attacking unions were the same ones who opposed civil rights. It’s no different today as the people fighting worker rights are the same ones who resist inclusive schools and maintain segregated neighborhoods.

The attack on public sector workers and teachers, especially in poor minority communities, is only the most recent example. The sprawl-driven, big-box retail industry in outer suburbs remains low wage and deeply anti-union. Public spending for badly needed infrastructure is severely restrained, undermining local government and depressing what should be an expansion of inclusive building trade jobs.

A shrinking middle class, widening income gap, and deepening racial divide further limits social mobility and middle class opportunity for all people - especially the unemployed, underemployed and those trapped in high poverty neighborhoods in cities and in suburbs.

This non-partisan forum will educate members, allies, and the public about the mutually reinforcing power relationship that once existed between labor and civil rights – an alliance that produced some the most progressive policies and inclusive expansion of middle class jobs that our nation ever experienced. 

It will show the relevance of this coalition for today’s challenges and it will call upon our congregations, unions, civic and civil rights groups to work together to restore and revive this alliance to advance and promote both racial justice and economic opportunity for all American workers, their families and communities. 

During the forum there will there will be a special tribute to Robert Richardson, Vice President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and recently elected President of the Cincinnati NAACP.

We will also recognize the work and celebrate the life of Mayor Rich Bonde, a dedicated and steadfast friend and leader of Building One Ohio and a courageous champion of social justice. 

Building One Ohio Labor/Civil Rights Forum

Restoring the Historic and Powerful Alliance

of Labor and Civil Rights

for Racial Justice

and Economic Opportunity

Friday, May 6, 2016 

Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio

The Labor Civil Rights Forum at Cleveland State University was a powerful demonstration of the passion and commitment to build and strengthen a revitalized and unified labor and Civil Rights movement in Ohio. The conference, attended by over 120 prominent labor and Civil Rights leaders from building trade, manufacturing, public sector, and service unions across the state, was ably moderated by Pierrette “Petee” Talley, Secretary-Treasurer of the Ohio State AFL-CIO and Professor Rob Kleidman of CSU.The conference was framed as a conversation to explore the overlapping themes of racial injustice and economic inequality in an effort to create a unifying narrative around issues that impact all working people, families, and communities.

See the opening presentation and Rusk's analysis and presentation here.

Read the BOA Labor/Civil Rights Document here. 

It began with a reminder from A. Philip Randolph Institute President, Clayola Brown of how the historic relationship between organized labor and Civil Rights produced some of the nation’s most important advancements for working people of all colors.

David Rusk, of Building One America showed how, despite gains since the March on Washington, dangerous civil and labor rights reversals have harmed many Americans and weakened both movements. Using demographic and fiscal data, Rusk reveled how deepening segregation by race and class was at the heart of many of the most pressing issues impacting working families of all colors in cities and in suburbs, and how these same trends are used to weaken and attack organized labor in both the public and private sectors.

Marc Bayard, director of the Institute for Policy Studies’ Black Worker Initiative, highlighted the important role of African American workers and leaders in the labor movement historically and how black workers, especially women, are key to a revitalized Labor Movement today.

Two panels of local leaders powerfully illustrated the relevance and validity of all three presentations and the urgency for a new narrative that unifies all three themes. 

A powerful example of that unity was the recognition of Robert E. Richardson Sr., a national Vice President of LIUNA and President of the Cincinnati branch of the NAACP with the E.D. Nixon Crossroads of Leadership Award. Edgar D. Nixon was the powerful NAACP leader in Montgomery, Alabama who recruited Rosa Parks and helped recruit the young Dr. King to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Less well known was his leadership of A. Philip Randolph’s Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Union in that city. Like Robert Richardson, E. D. Nixon stood at the powerful intersection of labor and Civil Rights and when the time was right helped light the spark that transformed America.

We also recognized the work and celebrated the life of Mayor Rich Bonde, a dedicated and steadfast friend and leader of Building One Ohio and a courageous champion of social justice. 

Building One American and Building One Ohio want to thank the generous sponsors who made this forum possible: Cleveland State University, The Laborers’ International Union of North America, Laborers’ Local 860, Ohio Education Association, Communications Workers of America District 4, The Laborers’ Local 265, The Ohio Laborers' District Council, Ohio AFL-CIO, Ohio Federation of Teachers, United Steel Workers of America District 1, Greater Cincinnati Building and Construction Trades Council, North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor, Cincinnati Labor Council, A. Philip Randolph Institute, Municipal Foremen & Laborers Union Local 1099, Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Coalition of Black Trade Unionist. 

May 6 Labor/Civil Rights Forum - Building One Ohio

Restoring the Historic and Powerful Alliance

of Labor and Civil Rights

for Racial Justice

and Economic Opportunity

Friday, May 6, 2016 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Cleveland State University, Wolstein Center

Featured Speakers:

  • Clayola Brown  National President, A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), AFL-CIO, Vice President, Workers United-SEIU. Civil Rights Director under the repositioned union Workers United, an SEIU affiliate. Member of the General Executive Board of Workers United since its formation in March 2009.  Former member, AFL-CIO Executive Council, and current Director of the Amalgamated Bank.
  • David Rusk  Founding President of Building One America, he is an internationally-known consultant on urban policy who has worked with more than 120 US communities including many in Ohio. Former federal Labor Department official, New Mexico legislator, and mayor of Albuquerque, the USA’s 32nd largest city

  • Marc Bayard  Associate Fellow and Director of the Institute for Policy Studies’ Black Worker Initiative. Founding Executive Director of the Worker Institute at Cornell University, he is a leading expert on racial equity and organizing strategies with extensive experience in building partnerships between labor, faith groups, and civil rights communities.

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December 17 Labor/Civil Rights Forum - Building One New Jersey

Restoring the Historic and Powerful Alliance of Labor and Civil Rights for Racial Justice and Economic Opportunity

December 17, 2015 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
The Conference Center at Mercer
1200 Old Trenton Road West Windsor NJ 08550 

Featured Speakers:

  • Rev. Terrence Melvin, president of the International Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) and secretary-treasurer of the powerful New York State AFL-CIO 
  • Clayola Brown, national president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), AFL-CIO 
  • Paul Jargowsky, director of the Center for Urban Research and Urban Education at Rutgers University and author of the Architecture of Segregation - Civil Unrest, the Concentration of Poverty, and Public Policy

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Become a Sponsor 

Building One New Jersey Labor/Civil Rights Forum and Year-End Celebration

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Celebrating and Restoring the Historic and Powerful Alliance of Labor anCivil Rights for Racial Justice and Economic Opportunity

When: Thursday, December 17, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM - there will be a short holiday reception afterward.

Where: The Conference Center at Mercer, 1200 Old Trenton Road West Windsor NJ 08550

Legendary labor leader A. Philip Randolph and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. repeatedly told their supporters that the political forces attacking unions were the same ones who opposed civil rights. It’s no different today as the people fighting worker rights are the same ones who resist inclusive schools and maintain segregated neighborhoods.

The attack on public sector workers and teachers, especially in poor minority communities, is only the most recent example. The sprawl-driven, big-box retail industry in outer suburbs remains low wage and deeply anti-union. Public spending for badly needed infrastructure is severely restrained, undermining local government and depressing what should be an expansion of inclusive building trade jobs.

A shrinking middle class, widening income gap, and deepening racial divide further limits social mobility and middle class opportunity for all people - especially the unemployed, underemployed and those trapped in high poverty neighborhoods in cities and in suburbs.

This non-partisan forum will educate members, allies, and the public about the mutually reinforcing power relationship that once existed between labor and civil rights – an alliance that produced some the most progressive policies and inclusive expansion of middle class jobs that our nation ever experienced. 

It will show the relevance of this coalition for today’s challenges and it will call upon our congregations, unions, civic and civil rights groups to work together to restore and revive this alliance to advance and promote both racial justice and economic opportunity for all American workers, their families and communities. 

When: December 17, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM- there will be a short reception afterward.

Where: The Conference Center at Mercer 
1200 Old Trenton Road
West Windsor NJ 08550 

Who: Attendees will include local leaders, members, and allies such as:

  • Congregation leaders and clergy
  • Municipal leaders and school board members
  • Civic and local business leaders
  • Local labor and civil rights leaders
  • Academics and advocates

Guest speakers and panelist will include:

  • National labor and civil rights leaders
  • Historians, authors, and experts
  • State and national political leaders

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File Attachment: 

Building Leaders Together - Leadership Training Institute for Inclusive Communities

building one new jersey logo

Together North Jersey and Building One New Jersey are partnering to provide an in-depth training institute for emerging leaders in New Jersey that will take place over four weekends in January and February 2015.  The training program is aimed at preparing leaders to become more effective and powerful in their communities and institutions.

Purpose of the training

Across America, communities and regions are reaching a high watermark of economic, ethnic, and racial diversity. These changes have brought many challenges that can turn these otherwise positive trends into forces of instability, fear, and insecurity.

The importance of recruiting leaders in diverse communities to serve on boards, councils or to play leadership roles in community institutions such as unions and churches has never been more important or relevant.

Too often, honest efforts to better reflect the changing demographics of a community or organization fail to recognize and address the power gap that tends to accompany historic disparities.

Many emerging leaders, whether because of age, race, gender, or class biases face a steep learning curve as they confront entrenched institutional power. Relationships developed and experiences learned over many years (sometimes generations) are not overcome easily or quickly.

For school boards, congregations, city councils, and labor unions it is not enough to talk about making our institutions more reflective of our constituencies. Leaders must learn to be leaders; they must learn to become powerful by understanding power and the principles, skills and tools for developing a public life and operating effectively in the public arena.

This training program is designed to help narrow this power gap and better prepare those individuals with strong leadership potential to be stronger advocates for their communities.

The program will focus on leaderhip skills development in the context of challenges and solutions for sustainable community development in the 13-county Together North Jersey planning region.

Where and When

The training will take place at Rutgers University – Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy (33 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901), with the exception of the first Friday and Saturday which will take place at the University Inn and Conference Center(178 Ryders Ln, New Brunswick, NJ 08901)

The program will include an overnight stay at the University Inn on Friday, January 23rd.  The cost of the lodging is included in the tuition fee.  All appropriate meals are also included.

Below are session dates:

  • Friday, January 23 - 7pm to 9pm with an overnight stay (including welcome reception from 9pm to 10pm)
  • Saturday, January 24 - 9am to 9pm (breakfast, lunch and dinner provided)
  • Saturday, January 31 - 9am to 5pm (breakfast and lunch provided)
  • Saturday, February 7 - 9am to 9pm (breakfast, lunch and dinner provided)
  • Saturday, February 28 - 9am to 5pm (breakfast and lunch provided)

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

Event Fee

Tuition for the Leadership Institute is $300 per participant.  The fee includes lodging on Friday, January 23rd and the meals listed above.

Partial scholarships may be available to BONJ affiliates and other qualified applicants.

Event Date: 

Friday, January 23, 2015 - 7:00pm

Event location: 

Rutgers University - Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, 33 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Event Fee: 

Tuition is $300 per participant (including lodging and meals) or $200 for affiliates and qualified applicants.

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