NEWARK, NJ - The Newark Anti-Violence Coalition is urging the public to call Gov. Phil Murphy’s office and demand funding be restored for the Summer Institute of the State’s Amistad Commission.
In 2002, the Amistad Bill became law creating the Amistad Commission and calling on New Jersey schools to incorporate African-American history into their social studies curriculum.
The annual Summer Institute offers several days of training for teachers in key areas of history. Last year’s institute examined school segregation in New Jersey.
This year’s program is designed to examine the conflicting legacy of slavery and freedom at Jamestown and to have its participants actually go to Jamestown, Virginia and participate in the official commemoration.
However, the group says that funding for the institute has suddenly been held up. Just days before historic commemoration activities are slated to begin, it is unclear why.
“Jamestown 1619 and what came out of that should be at the very foundation of the corrective, anti-racist mission of curriculum correction and infusion mission of the Amistad,” said Zayid Muhammad, media advocate for the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition.
“If we can grabble with what went wrong with our past...we can lay the foundation for opening the dialogues and relationships to do things differently and to do things better, free of racism, sexism, and genocide,” said Muhummad.
A group of teachers, former participants, and other concerned parties planned to visit Trenton today in an effort to meet with Murphy to address the need to urgently remedy this matter according to a statement from the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition.
Concerned parties are urged to call Governor Murphy’s office at (609) 292-6000 and demand that funding for the Amistad’s Summer Institute is immediately restored.
“Let the Amistad Commission do what the Amistad Commission was created to do,” said Muhammad.