SJM featured in NJ MONTHLY
Our president and vice-president were interviewed for this feature about groups working towards racial equity throughout the state. Read the NJ MONTHLY article here.
Fanwood/Scotch Plains (Union County)
The sheet of paper declared, “Enough is Enough! Stop Minority (Non-White) Crime Now!” and used false figures to support its claim that blacks were more likely to commit hate crimes.
Leland McGee, president of Social Justice Matters, remembers when a friend faxed the document to him, spurring the creation of the group in 2009.
“I can’t tell you what went through my mind, but I can tell you it probably felt a lot like what I felt like when I saw those two guys arrested in Starbucks: Is it ever going to stop? What is it going to take?” McGee was referring to the widely reported arrest in Philadelphia of two black men who were waiting for a friend in a Starbucks.
Members of Social Justice Matters commit to taking action. Some work with the Black Student Union at the Scotch Plains-Fanwood schools. Others conduct practice job interviews or offer college-essay help at the YMCAs in Plainfield and Westfield.
McGee worries about preaching to the choir. It’s one thing to work with people already committed to fighting racism. It’s another to engage people who are hesitant to enter a dialog about race. To that end, Social Justice Matters hosts lectures, book discussions and similar events to kick-start the conversation.