Religions and Spirituality

Activists Gather at Somerville Church to Send Message About Bigotry, Hate and Divisiveness

831c76a154db59f91ea6_sompixcentraljerseycommcoalitionlogo2.jpg
831c76a154db59f91ea6_sompixcentraljerseycommcoalitionlogo2.jpg

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Central Jersey Community Coalition, an emerging local grassroots social action network whose mission is to “educate, advocate, inspire, and act,” will host a gathering of concerned citizens and activist organizations on Saturday, Jan.21 from 2-6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills, 123 E. Cliff St.

“We are facing a period of unprecedented uncertainty because of the November election. It is imperative we become more educated, inspired, and involved in response to the atmosphere of hate and divisiveness that has engulfed our community,” reads a statement on the organization’s website.

Several social justice organizations are expected to participate, hoping to recruit new members.

Sign Up for E-News

Several speakers are scheduled, including Ali Chaudry, Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, the NJ Interfaith Coalition, and the Pledge to Stand Up for the Other; attorney Joyce Phipps, Casa Esperanza; Tulsi Maharjan, Somerset County Cultural Diversity Coalition;, Azra Baig, a member of the South Brunswick Board of Education; attorney Aldo Martinez and George Helmy, a member of New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker’s staff.

Baig, a Muslim, experienced bigotry and hatred during her campaign for reelection to the school board in November, with several of her campaign signs vandalized with Islamophobic comments.

“They wrote ISIS over my name, called me an ISIS sympathizer, a raghead and un-American,” she said.

The incidents were reported to the police; there have been no arrests, and the investigation is still open, according to Baig.

“I know these individuals don’t represent the majority,” she said.

Once the incidents were reported by the media, she received an outpouring of support from across the nation.

“It is horrible that someone could do that; there is hate out there, we see it every day now, unfortunately but I am optimistic, there is more love out there than hate; I know that just by interacting with people,” Baig said.

The Meta Theatre Company, a social justice theater company based in Hunterdon County will perform.

Participants will learn:

* How to get involved with various local social justice groups;

* How xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism, sexism, and homophobia impact the local community;

* How to take action at the local, state, and national level;

* How to help de-escalate a confrontation.


Organizers say the local event will provide an opportunity for participants to come together in solidarity with other social justice teach-ins and protests planned around the country that day.

The local event coincides with the Jan. 21 Women’s March on Washington where a crowd of protestors is expected to convene between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial.

A statement from the organizers reads:  “The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us — women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault.

 “We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.

“The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us,” they added.

Additional organizations that are involved with the local event include: the Hunterdon County Anti-Racism Coalition, RESULTS, Safe and Sound, Citizens Climate Lobby, the Giving Network, the Immigrant Defense Network of RVCC, the Muslim Student Association of RVCC, and AACT-NOW! - African American Community Takes New Outreach Worldwide and the New Jersey chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

The event will conclude with a candle-light vigil at 5:30 p.m. and a potluck dinner at 6 p.m.

Further information is available online at https://www.facebook.com/cjc.coalition/

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Brunswick-Cranbury

Police Blotter

South Brunswick and Cranbury Police Blotter

August 9, 2017

Sponsored by Reilly's Collision Center in Monmouth Junction. Click here and scroll down for the latest updates and alerts from South Brunswick and Cranbury Police.

See the most recent messages from South Brunswick Twp Police Department, powered by Nixle.

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, New Brunswick

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra: Hot Latin Nights ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, February 25, 11:00 AM

East Brunswick Jewish Center, East Brunswick

PurimFest

Arts & Entertainment Other Religions And Spirituality

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

St. David's Episcopal Church, Cranbury

Organizing for the 2018 Mid-terms: Elections, ...

Education Giving Back Government

Nutley Police Department: Video Does Not Contain Direct Threat to Nutley Public Schools

February 16, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Police Department report that the video that led to Nutley Public Schools being closed did not post a direct threat to any of the township's schools.

Police report that the person responsible for the video has been cooperating with the Nutley Police Department in their investigation. Interviews are on-going, The department is also investigating all ...

East Brunswick Business Owner Sues to Stop New Hotel Going Up in New Brunswick

February 16, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -The owners of an East Brunswick hotel are suing to halt the construction of another such establishment a few miles away in New Brunswick.

Shan & Dylan LLC, who own a Comfort Suites just off Route 18, filed suit in an effort to press the New Brunswick Planning Board to rescind its approval of the four-story hotel, which ​was issued in November.

That proposal calls for ...

South Brunswick: Volunteer Soccer Coach Charged With Possessing And Distributing Child Pornography

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A volunteer youth soccer coach and former Sunday school teacher is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, officials said Thursday.

FBI agents and local law enforcement arrested Waldo Milla-Guerra, 49, at his Kendall Park home Thursday morning after executing a search warrant, officials said.

Milla-Guerra, a volunteer soccer coach with the ...

Rutgers to Host Exhibit of Sen. Frank Lautenberg Papers

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey’s longest-serving U.S. senator, left an outsize imprint on state politics and national policy by the time he died while in office, in 2013.

His papers, now curated and maintained by the Rutgers University Libraries, encompass 2,250 boxes of hats, buttons, campaign stickers, vinyl records, paper documents and other artifacts that, laid end ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

Author Donates Portion Of Sales To Equestrian Aid Foundation

February 18, 2018

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Author Shane Ledyard will donate a portion of the paperback sales of his latest book, “Sycamore Whispers,” to the Equestrian Aid Foundation through February.

Equestrian Aid Foundation provides financial assistance to horse people from all corners of the U.S. equestrian world who are facing catastrophic injury or illness.

Purchase “Sycamore ...

Cuba Goes Country

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RELEASE: “Cuba Goes County” to be held at The Palmer in Cuba, NY.

For more information or to schedule and interview, contact Theater Manager Michele Conklin at (585) 209-5512.

The Palmer Opera House is hosting “Cuba Goes Country” on Sunday March 11th- at 2:00 PM

Come join us for a boot stompin', toe tappin' afternoon of country ...

Rep. Watson Coleman Statement Following Whistleblower Report on Baseless Attacks on Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) released the below statement following the letter sent by Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to the Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Sectary, Eric Hargan. The letter outlines documents regarding an effort by the Trump Administration to allow states to terminate Planned Parenthood as a healthcare ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...