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SJM Plans Joint Event with SPF Libraries for MLK Day of Service

posted Dec 26, 2014, 10:57 AM by Sjm Administrator   [ updated Jan 6, 2015, 7:20 PM ]
Friday, 26 December 2014 - Members of Social Justice Matters met with a team from the Scotch Plains and Fanwood libraries last week to discuss on-going ways that SJM can support the libraries' Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle.  This program, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Created Equal program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1960's Civil Rights Movement, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, will screen various films engaging issues of race and equality in the United States, host discussions of the films and issues raised, and invite scholars in to speak about selected moments in Civil Rights history.

As part of the sixth annual Scotch Plains/Fanwood Martin Luther King Day of Service (January 19, 2015), Social Justice Matters and the Scotch Plains and Fanwood Libraries will sponsor two programs with linked themes. Both programs will take place in the downstairs community room of the Scotch Plains Library.

At 1pm, Dr. Larry Leverett (Executive Director of the Panasonic Foundation and former Superintendent of Plainfield Schools) will speak entitled, "Racial Inequality in American Public Education."  Dr. Leverett offers the following description: Racial inequality is a persistent feature of the American social, political, and economic structures that distribute opportunity and privilege in a disparate manner.   Public education mirrors the inequalities in ways that perpetuate gaps between those who “have” and those who “have not.”  This presentation will highlight disaggregated local, state and national student performance data and provide examples of solutions to overcome historical gaps in performance.   

Social Justice Matters has chosen to focus on the theme of equal opportunities in education for 2015 and hopes to use this program as a jumping off point for more informational sessions and engagement.  Dr. Leverett's talk will be followed by refreshments.

At 3pm, Dr. Linda Caldwell Epps (President and CEO of 1804 Consultants and former President and CEO of the New Jersey Historical Society) and Bishop Kelvin C. Brooks (Senior Pastor of the Kingdom Life Cathedral in Scotch Plains and Special Police Officer) will lead a discussion entitled "How Did We Get to Today? Awareness,Acknowledgement & Advancement:"  Dr. Leverett will also participate in the panel, along with Social Justice Matters' founders, the Hon. Leland McGee and Rabbi Joel N. Abraham.

Please be sure to register for either or both of these programs on the Scotch Plains Fanwood Martin Luther King Day of Service website -
Sjm Administrator,
Jan 6, 2015, 7:18 PM