Essex County News

Queen Latifah, Anita Hill, Tapped as Rutgers Commencement Speakers

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Queen Latifah.
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NEWARK, NJ - Rutgers University has tapped Queen Latifah and Anita Hill to give commencement speeches to the graduating classes at two of the campuses in May of this year.

The decision was announced at the Rutgers Board of Governors Feb. 7 meeting in Newark. Both are regarded as icons of advocacy for feminist and African American social issues.

Yet the announcement still begs the question of who will be the speaker for the commencement ceremony at the school’s main campus in New Brunswick and Piscataway.

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Earlier this week, a university spokesperson said that the invitation to former vice president Joe Biden is still standing. Biden was previously on campus in October 2017 as part of the nation-wide “It’s On Us” campaign to end sexual violence on college campuses.

Typically, the main speaker is announced at the Rutgers Board of Governors session in April.

Latifah, a Newark native, actress, social activist and hip-hop icon, will speak at the May 14 Rutgers-Newark commencement ceremony, and receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

Having grown up in East Orange, Latifah went on to win a slew of awards in recognition of her entertainment career and community activism, including a Grammy, Primetime Emmy and Golden Globes.

Locally, she founded a scholarship for low-income youth and has worked to mitigate home foreclosures in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Latifah has also been active with the “Let Girls Learn” campaign, started by former First Lady Michelle Obama, which strives to provide education to 62 million girls across the world who don’t have such opportunities.

"Queen Latifah has been a consistent supporter of Newark and a source of inspiration for creative people and entrepreneurs in our city and throughout the world,” said Lyneir Richardson, Executive Director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Rutgers.

Anita Hill. Credit: Wikipedia

Hill, a law professor, will speak to graduates at the Rutgers-Camden commencement on May 17 and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

She’s well known for bringing the issue of sexual harassment to the national spotlight when in 1991, she testified during one of the hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

Having graduated from Yale Law School in 1980, she worked her way up to U.S Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, where she worked under Thomas, whom she alleged was engaged in inappropriate contact.

She’s been considered a pioneer of women’s rights and the conversation about sexual harassment, and her announcement comes at the heels of the #MeToo movement, a campaign against sexual harassment and assault.

“Prof. Hill is one of our nation’s most powerful voices in addressing equality and discrimination, and has reemerged as a central figure in the current nation discussion regarding sexual harassment,” said Rutgers-Camden Chancellor Phoebe Haddon.

For 2017, the university tapped musician Steven Van Zandt. The year before, Rutgers officials paid $1.5 million for then-president Barack Obama to be the speaker, as part of the university’s 250th anniversary, and the year before that: Bill Nye the Science Guy.

In 2014, the university tapped former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Her decision drew outcry from student and faculty activists, who argued she was a war criminal due to her involvement with the Iraq War, and as a result should not be honored by the university.

Ultimately, she bowed out of the speakership and was replaced with former NJ Gov. Thomas Kean Sr.

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Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Motor Vehicle Thefts Reported, One Recovered

May 16, 2018

May 7 - Burglary; Sometime during the prior two days, entry was forced to a business on Newark Way.  The keys to a GMC van were then taken from inside the business and the van was stolen.

 

May 7 - Motor Vehicle Theft; At approximately 9:30 p.m., a Jeep left unattended and running in the parking lot of 7-11 on Irvington Ave was stolen. The vehicle was later recovered in ...

South Orange Police Blotter - More Than 10 Vehicle Burglaries Reported

South Orange Police Blotter as of May 14

Auto Theft - A Roland Ave resident reported that sometime between 10:30 pm, Thursday 5-10-18 & 7:30 am, Friday 5-11-18 actor(s) unknown stole his vehicle (2016 Mitsubishi), which was parked in his driveway of his residence at the time.

Burglary to Auto - A Vose Ave resident reported that sometime between 10:45 pm, Wednesday 5-2-18 & 8:00 ...

Annual MayFest Street Fair is this Sunday in Maplewood

May 16, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - This Sunday is the annual MayFest Street Fair celebration in Maplewood with live music, performances on two stages, and the chance to meet the artists who created the new Springfield Avenue murals, as well as to experience a "mural painting in progress," according to event organizers.

The festivities take place on Springfield Avenue on Sunday, May 20, from 11 ...

Streets in South Orange and Maplewood Part of Essex County Roadway Paving Program

SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Essex County roads in South Orange and Maplewood have been listed among the streets being paved in 2018 as part of the County Roadway Resurfacing Program, according to a press release from Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

"The annual paving contract is part of the DiVincenzo Administration’s initiative to enhance safety on the ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, May 20, 10:00 AM

The Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, Maplewood

Ethical Culture Society's Annual Meeting & Family ...

Other

Wed, May 23, 12:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

The Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living

Education Religions And Spirituality

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Wed, May 23, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_982bc8344531b1a37c85_par_440

Fri, May 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Uniacke Named Bridges Outreach Executive Director as Bhatt, Tulloch Announce Retirement

May 18, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ - Bridges Outreach, Inc. Executive Director Lois Bhatt and Deputy Executive Director Bethany Tulloch have announced their retirement and, effective May 29, Richard J. Uniacke will begin his tenure as the Summit-based nonprofit's new Executive Director.

Uniacke, who will become just the organization's third executive director in three decades, was ...

Bus Accident in Livingston Kills One Wednesday

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Livingston police are investigating a fatal bus accident in the township Wednesday afternoon.

The police department has confirmed a death in the accident, which occurred shortly before 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of Latham Court and South Orange Avenue.

As of 4:30 p.m., detectives were still on the scene investigating the crash. A full report has not yet been released ...

Hundreds of RWJBarnabas Health Employees Run in New Jersey Half Marathon

May 17, 2018

LONG BRANCH, NJ — RWJBarnabas Health leaders Stephen Zieniewicz, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston and Bill Arnold, president and CEO of Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch were joined by 200 RWJBarnabas Health employees as they ran in the New Jersey Half Marathon on at the Jersey Shore.

The 22nd annual Novo Nordisk ...

Grand Street YMCA Building in Scotch Plains, Which Dated Back 200 Years, Razed by Developer

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ --  The Second Baptist Church of Scotch Plains -- better known as the Grand St. YMCA (at the corner of Union), faded into Scotch Plains history when it was torn down by developers earlier this month. 

Over the course of two centuries, the building had served a church, meeting house, a school, and from 1947 until recently, it was the Grand Street YMCA. By 1971, ...

Third Annual South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl is Sunday, May 20

May 19, 2018

The South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl is back!

On Sunday, May 20, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the South Orange Village Center Alliance hosts its third annual South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl, a tasting event that showcases the diverse restaurants and unique retailers in our Village Center.

With the purchase of a wristband, you'll stroll and sample delectable bites and ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - May 18 to May 24

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:          

Strawberry Banana Smoothie  $4.25 (Bakery)
Chicken Cutlet $7.99lb (Prep Food)
Turkey Hero $5.99 (Deli)
Juicy Juice 8pk  2/$5*
Friendly’s Ice Cream $3.99
Notre Dame Brie $6.99lb (Cheese)
Monkfish $9.99 ...

South Orange B’nai B’rith Federation House Hosts Visit from Sen. Menendez’s Legislative Counsel

South Orange B’nai B’rith Federation House (SOBBFH) hosted a visit by Rebecca Schatz, legislative counsel for Senator Robert Menendez, who toured the community and heard from residents about what it means to them personally to have affordable housing available to them. The visit provided Schatz with tangible benefits of HUD Section 202 Supporting Housing for the Elderly, a program ...