Religions and Spirituality

Photos, Videos From the Joint Diversity Groups' 'MLK Celebration Jam' at the Annex

54ef1cc3f11f3f3886d9_CB094AD8-4510-453D-A7CF-3EAC167D51D7.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
c50cfb06b7215f41acd1_0EAB80CA-B3D4-45A5-8B16-6D1F5EE0CED8.jpeg
The view through the front window of the Annex, as Dr. Jean Marquis begins her talk. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
fc20b62a3631e87ab9a1_6A24CC34-8339-41A9-9C90-9C696AA28CEB.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
bd91ffa3a4c73ebf81b7_EE1BBEDE-B8B0-46F9-8D94-C2B3D024C942.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
73cac537d82988716052_19046363-F516-49CF-8601-87922ED7A442.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
3b621874eef093737583_84E565F1-1A65-4BD0-ADD6-3A82EF0EBB91.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
7efc84e1a6b0e513793c_B313DED9-8FB6-44BB-B713-09BD796BFAB7.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
116641c6202c12eba01c_2E5FDE81-420C-4CC2-9795-C87C3833F730.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
8f1ce0e3c21979333cd7_0ED29694-6D60-4D3C-8EED-72CD91098E59.jpeg
Stephen Yellin reads an original poem. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
5a480bc523a19a5302bc_E124ADDE-D825-4F49-A1A3-CE356C0A3689.jpeg
New Providence Diversity Committee Chairman Sunil Abrol. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
f7acbaf75baa6a9778fa_1E50D8E8-044E-43D7-8663-934E0C3007C6.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
16dec43bfbde4ea643d1_4F455A12-E18E-4354-A25B-CD60441C0618.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
0bc93dbc8ce170b5b392_2CA3D5FB-FA58-4F2B-B2D7-B34486826ED5.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
fbd8e5a1f642999d973a_2A47E237-FE69-4FDA-A56C-291C4AFA390C.jpeg
Herman Matfer, Jimmy Josephs, Noah Brogden and Kyle Brogden of Berkeley Heights each read from a poem on war. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
41aaa98a9ccc6f4830e9_D41D5154-B8B9-40B5-84EF-42811C8DE54A.jpeg
A mural made by children and adults may be hung in the Berkeley Heights Township Council chambers. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
d8bdfd24080d30c77bf2_650636EA-5B6D-4ABD-AA06-F026EB184A8B.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
188cea4e0307231946c9_F89144DC-C35C-4288-9F97-FF20B76ED662.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
262acdda0ce1660e392c_875EA892-CAF3-403B-8275-7DED5714C56F.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
5a697baf50a28f17565f_099CA8FC-700B-4395-9913-9FB2A5F4ECE8.jpeg
Credits: Barbara Rybolt
39e8dad3f8465828fa88_8018A3A4-FAEC-4444-BF84-C5840C5F2C84.jpeg
New Providence Mayor Al Morgan and John Foote enjoy a laugh. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
01d6f8541a744d2bb831_433887CB-033F-42E5-89B6-FC50304E67E3.jpeg
Kyle Brogden, left, and Sunil Abrol. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
9128759c41081eb046ff_6CA9D694-BCFE-470D-B7A0-4559BD3CB502.jpeg
The luminary bags have phrases on them written by attendees such as, 'We Need More Empathy,' 'Happy MLK Day,' and drawings of hearts and rainbows. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
8bd17f81b7f07eaa970c_B4FCF98E-563F-41AB-8F7C-B90BA9E11338.jpeg
There were door prizes, one of which was won by Dr. Jean Marquis. Credits: Barbara Rybolt
54ef1cc3f11f3f3886d9_CB094AD8-4510-453D-A7CF-3EAC167D51D7.jpeg

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The New Providence Diversity Committee and Berkeley Heights Diversity Council and the New Providence Presbyterian Church held a “MLK Celebration Jam” at the Annex on Monday, Jan. 15.

The family-friendly event drew an enthusiastic crowd of residents of both communities – adults and children – who enjoyed music, poetry readings, and reflections on Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Jean Marquis, a Berkeley Heights Resident was asked to speak about what it was like growing up in Brooklyn prior to the Civil Rights movement, in the late 1950s and ‘60s. Her parents were immigrants and “struggled as all immigrants did to adjust to the demands of a new country,” she said. They were faced with limited opportunities for employment and “were aware of the rules and limitation of their situation and how black people, even in New York, were discriminated against,” she said.

Sign Up for E-News

Back then, black people, then called “colored,” lived in “beautiful brownstones in Bedford Stuyvesant, worked hard, were very strict with their children, especially with regard to schooling, dress, proper English because our success or failures were not only about us, but a reflection on the whole community,” she said.

There was no “blatant discrimination or physical brutality,” and even segregation was subtle, unlike the south, but there were signs that even a child could pick up that being “colored” meant you were treated differently, Marquis said.

She attended Brooklyn College at night, while working during the day, and graduated with a degree in philosophy. Later she went on to earn a masters and a doctorate and, in 1972, joined the Brooklyn College faculty, where she taught English for 40 years. While there she joined in student protests and, when the New York State Senate passed and funded a law establishing the SEEK Program (Seek Education Elevation and Knowledge), and joined the SEEK program faculty. She said under that law “all students were eligible to attend Brooklyn College, if they were disadvantaged financially and educationally and, to meet their needs, would receive the necessary remediation in English and Math.”  It also required the department to hire qualified faculty members who were “sensitive to the needs of these students.”    

 

Life was not easy for the SEEK department, but because it “embraced the teachings of Dr. King and, because of his influence,” the state senate continue to approve it, giving thousands of students “opportunities to become everything they were able to become,” she said. In time, students from countries all around the world enrolled and the Brooklyn College SEEK program became the most successful SEEK program in the City University system.

Despite its flaws, the program “spoke directly to one of the statements that Dr. King delivered on the night before he was murdered, ‘Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And, let us move on in those powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it out to be. We have the opportunity to make America a better nation,’” she said.

Her last thought on Dr. King was that, “If Dr. King were here he would be on the front line fighting for the rights guaranteed to all in the constitution … And, along with these constitutional rights, the moral obligation this country and its people must take on. The answer to the question, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper is quite simple. Yes, you are.’”

Berkeley Heights resident Stephen Yellin wrote and read a poem for the occasion, based on Dr. King’s words:

Ripples

Once, in a world where trumpet calls

For freedom crumbled walls,

Walls of oppression, walls of shame,

A man of privilege, of lasting fame 

Said this: 

Each time we Stand Up

Against hatred, Line Up

Against injustice, Speak Up

Against despair, we sent forth

A tiny ripple of hope; north

And south, east and west, taking

Apart the walls of hate, forsaking

Oppression, making

Us free.

Today, we see 

That old cruelties, ancient hatreds,

The wretched filth of ancient years,

Made newly strong by human fears,

Challenge us all. 

This is the call

For us to cast our rock

In the waters; that no clock

Be turned back, that hope 

Will grow, not weaken.

And that each ripple become a beacon

That guides us all forward, creating a wave

Of change for our time – a brave 

new world of freedom. 

Let us – every one of us – cast our rock

And let loose the ripples of hope.

There were other poems read, some thoughts on diversity from New Providence Diversity Committee Chairperson Sunil Abrol, who said it is important to "recognize we are one human race." 

Berkeley Heights resident Jimmy Josephs was one of the last speakers, he gave a shout out to Mayor Al Morgan and his wife, Christine, and Abrol for introducing him to "what this town is all about."  He urged those at the Jam to remember, "If you don't say anything, if you don't speak up, it's not going to happen ... Because of the big megaphone someone is using today, we need to  speak to your neighbors, let them know, 'This is not how some of us live, especially Hatiatian Americans ... This is not what America's about.'"  

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

The Ducks Are Here

May 22, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Just arrived. Over four thousand little yellow rubber duckies, ready to swim their little webbed feet off for their adoptive “parents.”

Ducky adoption tickets are just $5 each and available throughout Berkeley Heights oAm Bagel, 7-Eleven, Stop n/ Shop, and out front of our town post office to find and adopt as many duckies as you’d like.

Field Hockey Is On the Rise in Berkeley Heights and Mountainside; Fall Registration Open

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Berkeley Heights PAL has opened registration for Fall 5/6 and 7/8 travel field hockey teams, as well as a second through fourth grade Fall clinic and a Summer clinic for current second through eighth graders.   Visit the PAL website, www.bhpal.org, to register. Please indicate if you need to borrow a stick.

The PAL Field Hockey program ...

Congressman Lance To Hold Annual Service Academy Information Fair

FLEMINGTON, NJ – Congressman Leonard Lance, U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, announced he will hold his annual Service Academy Information Fair for high school students.

"I look forward to the Service Academy Information Fair every year and meeting the talented and poised young leaders from our district,” said Congressman Lance.

The ...

How the Holi Color Festival Came to Summit; Event Planner Shares Her Story

May 21, 2018

Back in India, Holi was a holiday observed by almost all states. The holiday would be declared at all educational institutes and offices. It's a two day spring festival also known as the festival of colors. The festival signifies the victory of good over bad, the arrival of spring with the fragrance of flowers in the air and aura of warmth and happiness.

Holi festival is the time ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

May 16, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Coach Bottone Tribute

May 19, 2018

2017 Pioneer football players took on a tall task of filling a lot of open spots with not many returning players. We had 30 kids on our football team who all wanted to be there. With a new head coach who just came on board in late April, we had a lot of things to do without much time. Most people would say being on a 1-9 football team would be no fun and, at times, it wasn’t, but it was the ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_3c7abbb40c05a3108a26_yoga_stretch

Tue, May 22, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Essential Hatha Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_3c7abbb40c05a3108a26_yoga_stretch

Tue, May 22, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Essential Hatha Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a4801a3d56342db1596a_pilates_reformer

Tue, May 22, 9:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a4801a3d56342db1596a_pilates_reformer

Tue, May 22, 9:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_3c7abbb40c05a3108a26_yoga_stretch

Tue, May 22, 10:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Essential Hatha Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Tue, May 22, 5:30 PM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providenece

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness