June 15 Follow-Up Clergy, Faith & Community Leaders Gathering

School Segregation, Education & Opportunity in New Jersey.

Last month nearly 100 faith and community leaders gathered with key legislative allies, including the leadership of the powerful NJ Legislative Black Caucus, to address the worsening crisis caused by the enduring sin of racial segregation in our public schools.

In addition to Assemblyman Benjie E. Wimberly, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey and Legislative Black Caucus Chair Assemblywoman Shavonda E. Sumter, we were joined by renowned civil rights scholars and lawyers including John C. Brittain at UDC School of Law in Washington, DC,  Leslie Wilson of Montclair State University and Myron Orfield, Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota.

Meeting organizers Rev. Willie Francois of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Pleasantville and Rev. Kenneth Clayton, Pastor of St. Luke Baptist Church in Paterson provided background on the recent wave of racialized school secessions across the state where majority white school districts seek to sever their send-receive relationships with majority black and brown school districts in clear violation of the New Jersey constitution outlawing racially segregated education. In the meantime, the same cabal of highly paid consultants and lawyers representing the seceding districts have bragged that a new bill they claimed to help write for  school consolidation can be used to subsidize and accelerate segregation (“withdrawals”) in the name of efficiency and cost savings.

Legislative leaders were asked and agreed to hold hearings on this issue including the current legislation now before the General Assembly.

On Tuesday, June 15 we will reconvene for an update on our progress to stop this new and expanding form of school Jim Crow and to advance strategies and policies to maximize access to opportunity for all children and communities across the state.

Tuesday, June 15 at 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Please pre-register here for this virtual gathering of faith leaders