Building One America News

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

Policy Forum on Race, Place and Opportunity in New Jersey - Princeton University, December 16, 2016 

Building One New Jersey held an important and powerful forum on Race, Place, and Opportunity at the Frist Campus Center at Princeton University on Friday, December 16, 2016.

The conversation explored the intersection of racial justice and economoc inequlity making 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 Duneierdiscussed his new book Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea, 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 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 provided important 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 Christopher Niedt 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, and Gayle Shepard, President of the Montclair Education Association.

The forum closed with a 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 was also moveing 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. It was delivered by Teaneck's Deputy Mayor Henry J. Pruitt.

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.

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Building One New Jersey 2016 Honorees

We are pleased to announce Building One New Jersey will honor the following individuals at our annual year-end reception and fundraiser following a policy forum at Princeton University on Friday, December 16th, 2016:

Please consider purchasing a sponsorship in honor of one of these champions of racial justice and economic opportunity.

  • Sean Spiller, Montclair Councilman and New Jersey Education Association Secretary Treasurer
  • John Ballantyne, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Marlene Lao-Collins, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, Trenton Diocese
  • William Castner, Senior Vice President, Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Reverend Dr. Lester Taylor, President of the General Baptist Convention of New Jersey
  • Antoinette Brevard, Executive Director of St. Luke CDC, Paterson

The Board of Building One New Jersey chose to recognize these leaders as distinguished elected officials, powerful allies, long time friends, important moral leaders, emerging grassroots leaders and veteran fighters for social justice. 

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.

Sponsorship Opportunities are available for organizations and individuals who wish to show their support for racial and economic justice organizing in New Jersey and to help us recognize the outstanding work of these leaders. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Diane Campbell and Rev. John Scotland
Co-Chairs Building One New Jersey

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Featured Speakers
Overview and Program

BOA Labor/Civil Rights Rights Document 

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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. 

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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2015 National Summit on Inclusive Suburbs and Sustainable Regions

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Building One America National Summit for Inclusive Suburbs and Sustainable Regions

Thursday, July 23 through Friday, July 24, 2015
Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC

The Building One America Summit will involve local leaders and federal and state policy makers to seek bipartisan solutions to the unique but common challenges around housing, schools and infrastructure facing America’s metropolitan regions and its diverse middle-class suburbs. Participants will include local elected and grassroots leaders from America’s diverse middle class towns and school districts along with scholars, policy experts, state legislators, members of Congress and the White House.

The next Building One America Summit on Suburbs and Diverse Middle Class Communities will be July 23 and July 24, 2015. Our Summit will again take place in Washington, DC at the Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Avenue NW.

The 2013 Summit was a success on many fronts and this year's event is expected to advance each of those fronts even further by:

  • Promoting a greater understanding and appreciation for the strengths and challenges of our diverse middle class communities
  • Advancing a non-partisan federal and state policy agenda to stabilize our communities while expanding middle-class opportunity around jobs, infrastructure, housing and schools
  • Building a powerful, diverse and bipartisan national community of local leaders with shared values and a common agenda

Speakers and participants will include:

  • Members of Congress and White House officials
  • Mayors, local elected, municipal and school officials 
  • State legislators, business, faith and labor leaders
  • Academics and national policy experts

Book your room before special hotel rates for attendees and participants end!

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Our Summit will again take place in Washington, DC at the Georgetown University Law Center, 600 New Jersey Avenue NW.

The 2013 Summit was a success on many fronts and this year's event is expected to advance each of those fronts even further by:

  • Promoting a greater understanding and appreciation for the strengths and challenges of our diverse middle class communities
  • Advancing a non-partisan federal and state policy agenda to stabilize our communities while expanding middle-class opportunity around jobs, infrastructure, housing and schools
  • Building a powerful, diverse and bipartisan national community of local leaders with shared values and a common agenda

Speakers and participants will include:

  • Members of Congress and White House officials
  • Mayors, local elected, municipal and school officials 
  • State legislators, business, faith and labor leaders
  • Academics and national policy experts

Summit Speakers
Register for the 2015 National Summit
2015 Overview and Program
2015 Honorees
2015 Sponsorship Opportunities
Getting to the Summit

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Summit 2013

2013 Summit Sponsors
2013 Summit Program and Topics

2013 National Summit on Inclusive Suburbs and Sustainable Regions attended by 200 leaders and over dozen members of congress

The July 18-19, 2013 Building One America Summit on inclusive suburbs and sustainable regions highlighted the common challenges facing our country’s diverse middle-class communities.

Twelve states were represented at the summit, which brought 200 local elected and civic leaders from towns, schools, business, labor and faith communities together with experts and federal policymakers from the White House and Congress to seek bipartisan solutions to the unique but common challenges around housing, schools, and infrastructure facing America’s metropolitan regions and its diverse middle-class suburbs.

A congressional reception was attended by 14 members of Congress, including Richard Hanna (R-NY), Transportation and infrastructure; Dave Joyce (R-Ohio), Appropriations; Peter King (R-NY), Financial Services; and Jim Renacci (R-OH), Ways and Means; Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Transportation and Infrastructure; Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Ways and Means. 

Former Ohio Congressman Steve LaTourette, who now heads the Republican Main Street Partnerships, served as a keynote speaker in the summit, affirming that the challenges facing local government are bi-partisan issues, and pledged to work with BOA to build support for investment in infrastructure.

Practitioners and policy-experts attended breakout sessions on schools, housing, sewer, water infrastructure, and transportation. There, efforts to lift-up and highlight opportunities for better federal and state policies and funding approaches were reinforced by powerful examples of best practices and policy victories secured at the state and regional level.

Key members of the Obama administration – including Gred Nadeu, deputy administrator of Federal Highway Administration; Salin Geevarghese, Acting Director of the Sustainable Communities Initiative; John Frece, EPA Office of Sustainable Communities; and Paulette Aniskoff, White House Director of Public Engagement – were engaged around how the federal government can better support inclusive suburbs and sustainable regions.

David Rusk, a Building One America board member and national expert on regionalism, proposed a unified and unifying policy agenda. The summit ended with commitments to build and train strong networks of local leaders within metropolitan regions and states and leaders set goals of convening regional summits in the spring of 2014 to present issues for action.

2013 Honorees 

2013 Summit Sponsors 

2013 Summit Program and Topics

2013 Summit Speakers

Brookings Presents Findings at Building One America Summit July 18-19

Photo of Alan Berube

Alan Berube, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program and co-author of Confronting Suburban Poverty presented these findings at the summit, which will involved local leaders and federal policy makers seeking bipartisan approaches to the common challenges facing America’s metropolitan regions and diverse middle-class suburbs.

Click here to see a summary of the Brookings report, which is attracting a great deal of media attention around the country.

Here is a list of articles reporting on the Brookings report:

 

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