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:

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Union County Magnet High School to Hold Silent Auction

February 21, 2018

A great night out with family and friends for just $10.  And we provide dessert and coffee/tea.

Please come to the Magnet High School PSA Silent Auction on Friday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Union County Vocational Technical School in Scotch Plains (West Hall Cafeteria). 

Tickets are only $10. You can then bid on over $12,000 worth of ...

2018 LGBTQ Roundtable Comes to Hamilton Stage in Rahway

Union County Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados and Freeholders Bruce H. Bergen and Alexander Mirabella welcomed Christian Fuscarino of Garden State Equality to the 2018 LGBTQ Roundtable meeting hosted by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders at the Hamilton Stage in Rahway.

They were joined by Union County Department of Human Services Director Debbie-Ann Anderson, Union County ...

Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary Club Pancake Breakfast

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Rotary Club will host their first Pancake Breakfast at the newly renovated Scotch Hills Country Club in Scotch Plains. The event will take place on Sunday, March 25, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and the price will be $10 per person. Pancakes, eggs, ham, turkey sausage, coffee, tea, and juice will be served and there will be prize ...

Willow Grove Church Introduced Rev. Heather Morrison-Yaden, Transitional Pastor, and New Lenten Discussion Series

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Willow Grove Presbyterian Church welcomed new transitional pastor, Rev. Heather Morrison-Yaden on February 18, 2018.  Pastor Heather will serve Willow Grove Church throughout 2018 as the congregation prepares to call a permanent pastor. Pastor Heather, originally from Morristown, NJ, brings with her steadfast joy, faith, and humor in serving this ...

Are you bored with "healthy eating?" THE MAX Challenge to the rescue!

ARE YOU BORED WITH THE SAME HEALTHY RECIPES?

https://www.themaxchallenge.com/locations/new-providence-nj/

THE BEST PART OF BEING A MEMBER AT THE MAX CHALLENGE OF NEW PROVIDENCE IS THAT WE MAKE HEALTHY EATING INTERESTING WITH NEW HEALTHY RECIPES.

Don't let the same boring routine and nutrition get in the way of your healthy lifestyle.  Let THE MAX Challenge of New ...

New Jersey Youth Symphony Announces 2018 Summer Camps

NEW PROVIDENCE—The New Jersey Youth Symphony announced today that it will hold two summer camps, Orchestral Camp from June 24 until July 7 and Junior Winds Camp from July 30 until August 3, at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence. Campers can take advantage of a 5% tuition discount by registering before the Early Registration deadline on June 1, 2018. For more information visit ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, February 21

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Wed, February 21, 8:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Wed, February 21, 9:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a4801a3d56342db1596a_pilates_reformer

Wed, February 21, 10:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness

Wed, February 21, 2:00 PM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

The Underground Railroad Documentary

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_0b65677f5f95b0e69f8e_power_yoga

Wed, February 21, 5:45 PM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Power Core Yoga

Health & Wellness