A Community Creates Change

Yesterday, speakers at 9/11 commemoration services observed about how collective goodness can triumph over evil. Tonight (Monday, September 12) we can see another example of this, how an extreme case of bullying and its terrible result caused an entire town to rise up and create change.

Tonight at 7 p.m., Not in Our Town (Princeton) — in partnership with the Princeton Public Library and the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund — will screen a preview of the national NIOT’s documentary film ‘Light in the Darkness.’ It is the first session in what NIOT hopes will be a year-long change-campaign against bullying, and it will be followed by a discussion.

To start everyone thinking, those attending will be given a card and this opportunity: 
On one side describe your “Experience of Bullying” as either a victim/perpetrator/ 
or bystander, consider:

1) Write briefly how you or someone else you remember was bullied

2) How did it make you feel?

3) Did anyone help you then, or later? How?

On the other side write your “Responses to Bullying,” consider: 
1) Did you ever offer help to a victim of bullying or to the bully?

2) How do you think a family or friends can help?

3) What are some positive things that a community can do?

If you have had no direct experience with bullying please share any thoughts you might have on what steps individuals and communities can take to prevent and heal these behaviors. 

We would like to collect the cards after the program.

You may be thinking — Princeton is such a ‘good’ liberal town, we don’t have a problem with racism or bullying of any kind. Not so. You will learn about that tonight. And we’re working on it. 

You are warmly encouraged to contribute your ideas. If not tonight, perhaps by email (niotprinceton@gmail.com) or by comment on the NIOT (Princeton) blog .

And if you can’t come tonight, “Light in the Darkness” will premiere on PBS stations on Wednesday, September 21, at 10 p.m. It is suitable for adults and older teens.   

Full disclosure: As a representative of an NIOT member congregation, Princeton United Methodist Church, I serve on the steering committee of Not in Our Town (Princeton). 

. Thanks to the cooperating merchants who are displaying these posters.

Not in Our Town (Princeton) is an interracial, interfaith social action group in Princeton committed to speak truth about ‘everyday racism’ and other forms of prejudice and discrimination. We seek reconciliation, mutual respect and open and honest truth telling among our diverse communities. We support and promote social justice, economic justice and educational equity for all. Our hope is that Princeton will become a town in which the ideals of friendship, community and pride in diversity will prevail.

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