I am both proud and excited, to announce that Ahavas Sholom and Diversity United will continue our partnership starting on March 15, at 7pm, when we will reconvene and begin to form a “working committee” whose goal will be to create a tangible platform which can contribute in a meaningful way to the ongoing social justice/racial justice movement. As we have learned over the past year, there exist numerous opportunities to participate – locally and otherwise. Utilizing some of our new found knowledge and some of the lessons learned throughout this past year, it is time to turn those into “Actionable Steps”.
It has been a rewarding and eventful year to say the least!
I would like to thank my co-founders at Diversity United; President Mildred Crump; Pastor Steffie Bartley; and Rabbi Capers Funnye for guiding us on our way. I have to extend special acknowledgement to Rabbi Funnye for staying with us for the entire year. As busy as he is and Not being a member of our local community and having the responsibilities he has to shoulder in Chicago, him staying on speaks volumes as to his personal integrity!
The additions of Rev. Rountree and Walter Robinson along the way, helped us to further refine our monthly programs at Diversity United. Their guidance and thought provoking ideas added immeasurably to our success.
Lastly, to the people “behind the scenes” – a sincere thank you and “job well done”! As a member of Mildred’s – and now Larry Crump’s staff – Stephanie Nieves continued to “rise to the occasion” throughout the year. Not schooled initially in the world of “Zoom”, she took it upon herself to learn and improve her skill set as we went along. She has been a pleasure to work with and proven herself to be most competent in anything we have asked her to do!
And then of course, there is “Old Reliable” – Jeffrey Haveson – a fellow officer at Ahavas Sholom. Using his years of experience in radio as a producer, I have come to rely on Jeff for just about anything related to promotion and marketing for both Ahavas Sholom’s and Diversity United’s programming.
My heartfelt thanks to you both!!
Of course, none of this could have been possible without the efforts of our “fearless leader” and co-founder, President Mildred Crump. When I first approached her with my idea back in April 2020, she was “ALL IN” immediately. There was no salesmanship needed – just a “Just Cause” to pursue. That is how Mildred has spent her life!
When we first began to explore the possibilities, I mentioned to Mildred that I did not want this to be a “one off” after the entire year of programs. That it would be important for us to coalesce around some of the issues we study and not simply “ride off into the sunset” after 12 months. My answer was to have the “price of admission” be to make a personal commitment to staying on and working toward something tangible.
Click here to read the initial press release from last February. In the top paragraph, on the 2nd page, you can see that when we started, DIVERSITY UNITED was to be “forum a public forum with the aim of not only educating residents of Newark and its suburbs about the anti-racist agenda, but equally as important—to create a tangible platform to work collectively towards a just society.”
That time is upon us!
Sadly, the loss of Mildred to Diversity United’s monthly programming was a big blow. However, due to her inspiration and desire to keep the program moving forward, we have continued to meet and fulfill our one year commitment to the “passionate pursuit” of social justice!
Mildred has done her duty! Now it is our turn!!
Please join us at 7pm, Tuesday, March 15 and help us to begin to do our part toward making for a more just society.