Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo choose to make a difference in overcoming racism. With their cohorts at Princeton CHOOSE, they collected stories, from all over New Jersey, with the goal of inspiring harmony, and compiled them in a classroom guide. I am eager to hear the founders of Princeton CHOOSE present the Classroom Index at the Princeton Public Library on Thursday, October 6, 7 to 8 p.m.
The pair, seniors at Princeton High School, founded Princeton CHOOSE as a student-led organization aiming to overcome racism and inspire harmony through exposure, education, and empowerment. They are fellow board members with me at Not in Our Town Princeton and I am continually amazed at their energy, efficiency, and effectiveness. Deservedly, they have won prestigious awards, including NIOTPrinceton’s Unity Award and the Princeton Prize in Race Relations.
At the library Vulchi and Guo will talk about their mission and explain how others can participate and engage with their program, including a full introduction to their Classroom Index a guide that includes statistics, research, and personal anecdotes from people all across New Jersey.
For those of us who can’t watch sad or scary things (Simona, this is for you!) here is a New York Times article, The Benefits of Despair, suggesting that’s the reason why we are activists. “A feeling of general badness calls for no specific actions, you feel lousy and trapped by your circumstances.” But with what Lisa Feldman Barrett calls “higher emotional granularity,” you might react with a “more specific emotion, such as righteous indignation, which entails the possibility of specific action…You are no longer an overwhelmed spectator but an active participant.”
Yesterday’s Not in Our Town Princeton’s Unity Awards Ceremony, where we heard the inspiring stories of eight activist young people, ratcheted up my “emotional granularity.” Hurray, hurray, and hurray! Read about it here.
Ziad Ahmed, whom I know as a youth member of the board of Not in Our Town Princeton, was invited to the White House for dinner with the president. Reason: he had been inaccurately targeted, as a child, for the “do not fly” list. He responded to that experience by founding an anti-bias organization.
Ahmed, now a rising junior at Princeton Day School, established ReDefy to “boldly defy stereotypes, embrace acceptance and tolerance, redefine our perspectives positively, and create an active community.” He has also made many valuable contributions to the NIOTPrinceton organization as well. He is doing important work. Here is the link to Nicole Mulvaney’s coverage in the Times of Trenton.