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The Politics of Urban Education

January 27, 2013

The Politics of Urban Education: Newark and Paterson

On Friday, February 1, 2013, at 7:00 p.m., “The Politics of Urban Education: Newark and Paterson,” will be the subject of a seminar at the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood.  The speaker is Lawrence Hamm, Chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress (POP).  Co-sponsors are the Bergen County Branch of POP and the Anti-Racism and Education Justice Committees of the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood.

Mr. Hamm is an internationally known social activist who has led countless protests and demonstrations in Newark and throughout New Jersey and beyond.  His journey began in 1971 when, as a Newark Arts High senior, he helped organize a citywide student protest over a prolonged teachers’ strike, and has continued ever since. He was appointed to the Newark School Board by Mayor Ken Gibson after the big student march.  Although he held a full scholarship to Princeton, he withdrew after two months to concentrate on the School Board. Eventually he returned to his studies and earned both a bachelors and an MBA. But he never stopped working for social change.

The Unitarian Society of Ridgewood has provided meeting space and support for the Bergen County Branch of the People’s Organization for Progress for several years.  The group works closely with the Society’s Anti-Racism Committee to bring awareness of the ongoing devastating effects of racism throughout Bergen County, New Jersey, and the nation.

The February 1 event is an outcome of the 2011-12 “Education Justice” theme of the Social Responsibilities Council. The Education Justice Committee has a special interest in public education, with particular concern for public schools in Paterson, where members of the Society have volunteered for many years.  Hamm will talk about the current climate of political attacks on public education, and discuss the impact of these attacks on schools in both Newark and Paterson.

The event is free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be served.  For more information contact Margaret White (201-833-1737) of the Anti-Racism Committee, or Sally Lewis, Chair, Education Justice Committee (201-444-7628).

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