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Rising Beyond the Pandemic: 

Leading the Way Forward, Developing Resilience

and Demanding Transformation

Conference Information and Links

Friday, October 8, 2021

9:00 AM













10:15 AM


Workshop 1 | Economic Parity: School Segregation in Pleasantville

Sixty-six years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed with the tenets of Brown vs. the Board of Education, separate is not equal.  In 2021, the State of New Jersey carries the distinction of being the 6th most segregated public school system in the United States.  The recent decision by the Absecon Board of Education to withdraw from its agreement with Pleasantville Board of Education resulting in more segregation not less leaving Pleasantville an entirely non-white school district.  However, Absecon is not the first school district to make such a decision.  Englewood Cliff, North Haledon, Maywood, and Merchantville are just a few examples of school districts that have embarked upon a move to separate from other districts to create white only districts.  This workshop will discuss the need for courageous and imaginative leadership at the state and community level to address the inequalities within our public education system in the State of New Jersey considering the calls to increase segregation and isolation.



James Harris, New Jersey Association of Black Educators



Rev. Willie Francois, Mount Zion Baptist Church of Pleasantville, NJ

Olivia Caldwell, Mainland Pleasantville Branch of NAACP

Paul Scully, Building One America


Workshop 2 | Health: Loss of Hospitals in New Jersey’s Black Communities

Typically, people head to hospitals closest to their homes to receive medical care.  A new Penn Medicine study suggests the reason behind the disproportionate rate of deaths in New Jersey’s Black communities to related to the reduction of access to hospitals in their communities.  This workshop will discuss the need to increase hospital access to Black communities in the state, along with roots of injustice that has created the lack of access to hospitals, such as redlining and ties to the dependence on Medicaid or Medicare to resources requiring policy changes at the State level to address the dependence on local resources to maintain quality of care.



George Gore, Our Communities Matters



Dianne Keel Atkins, New Garden State Jurisdiction, Church of God in Christ

William Bishop, NJ Office of Emergency Management

Bishop Jethro C. James, Jr., Paradise Baptist Church, Newark, NJ



Workshop 3 | Hot Topics: Impact of COVID on Black Church

The COVID 19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy and has a potentially

Devasting impact to the Black church.  As a result of the economic impact of the

pandemic, church members have not been able to make their financial contributions.

Additionally, the Black church has not been able to gather, fellowship, worship and

pray together due to the restrictions placed on these activities by Governor Phil

Murphy. As a result, Black churches have had to make changes to the ways they

connect with their membership and keep the doors open to the buildings.  This

workshop will bring together pastors to discuss the innovative ideas that they have

employed to continue to connect to their members and offer relief to the communities

that they serve.



Rev. Dr. Randall M. Lassiter, Calvary Baptist Church, Paterson, NJ



Rev. Dr. Bernadette Glover, St. Paul Baptist Church, Montclair, NJ

Rev. Dr. James Kuykendall, Agape Christian Ministries, Paterson, NJ


11:30 AM



Speaker: Dr. Jonathan Holloway, Rutgers, the State University

Closing Prayer

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