What the Trump Presidency Means for People of Color in Newark

It’s been several months since I started reaching out to residents and community leaders in Newark as an organizer on Free Press’ New Voices: New Jersey campaign. Since I began having these conversations I realized that Newark faces some of the same challenges with local media as other cities.

The perspectives of many community members haven’t been visible in local coverage. The untold stories haven’t gotten out there. Residents, many times, don’t trust journalists to tell their points of view.

We believe community members have a deep understanding and knowledge base about what’s important about their cities and towns.  At the same time, journalists have a platform that many times can amplify and influence their readers and listeners.

Our goal at News Voices has been to engage residents and journalists and to help build trust between them. Newark is the most populous city in New Jersey and it deserves better coverage, so we’re teaming up with WNYC on Saturday afternoon to host a community conversation at the Newark Public Library from 2:30–4 p.m.

This event will consider what the Trump presidency means for people of color in Newark — and how we can work together to advance a racial-equity agenda.

Here’s what to expect:

The American Dream: Sen. Robert Menendez and A’Dorian Murray-Thomas

Depending on who you ask about the American dream, you’re sure to get a different perspective. It can mean something different in urban America and for people of color. Sen. Menendez and A’Dorian Murray-Thomas, the founder of She WINS Inc. — which empowers and educates young women — will talk about the American dream at large and in Newark.

Reflections on the Women’s March: Brittney Cooper and Jasmine Wahi

It was an inspiration to see millions of people coming together last weekend in women’s marches around the world. It wasn’t only about standing up for human rights; it was the crux of many movements coming together. Black feminist theorist and Rutgers University Professor Brittney Cooper (pictured) and Jasmine Wahi, the co-owner and director of Gateway Project Spaces, will reflect on the marches and the impact race and gender have on activism.

Identity Politics and Tokenism: Rep. Donald Payne Jr. and Paula Neves

As an African American organizer, I find myself striving to figure out how activists, residents and policymakers can find common ground on social and economic justice struggles.  It’s vital to illustrate the gains that people of color have made, even in the face of structural and systemic racism. With that said, I hear a lot of different perspectives about identity politics — and in some of my social circles it’s the issue to discuss. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. and Luso-American Ironbound poet Paula Neves will explore these two topics.

A Structured Group Discussion and Breakouts:

Once we’ve had a chance to hear from this stellar lineup, it’ll be time for attendees to share their experiences and truths with others. We’ll have a group conversation with the hopes that people will relay their thoughts on how to shape a racial-equity agenda in the Trump era.

If you live in Newark, we need you to give us your thoughts on next steps and solutions. Ask questions and share your insights.

This is your chance to meet likeminded people, including activists and influential leaders — and it’s just the start to News Voices collaborating with Newark newsrooms to strengthen local coverage.  We’re focused on doing more events like this on a host of different topics.  That’s why it’s important to get involved and give us your input and ideas.

Again, this is your chance to make an impact.  Be there and let your voice be heard.

RSVP for Saturday’s event here.

Original photo by Flickr user TED Conference

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good