West Windsor, N.J. – The Mercer County Holocaust/Genocide
Resource Center began its educational offerings for the semester with a panel discussion commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 10. The theme of the day was this ground-breaking document's role in paving the way to the abolition of slavery and the journey to racial equality that contines to the present day.
Panelists included Dr. Paul Winkler, executive director of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, who served as moderator, Executive Dean for Student Affairs Diane Campbell, faculty members Craig Coenen, Joan Goldstein, and Alvyn Haywood, and MCCC bursar Lucia Brown-Joseph. Topics ranged from personal stories to historical, educational and social impacts. Ninety-one-year-old Foundation Board member Jim Floyd, the first African-American mayor of Princeton, added his reflections during the question-and-answer period.
Dean Campbell recalled that the proclamation freed her great-grandfather, who worked on a North Carolina farm, but that it also led to two separate societies. "Our country, which began as separate and very unequal, had to become a place of coexistence," she said, noting that the work begun by civil rights movement continues to this day.
Brown-Joseph, MCCC's bursar, emigrated with her family from Trinidad-Tobago in the 1970s for the educational opportunities available in the United States. While pursuing higher ducation, she also learned about prejudice. "I began to appreciate and understand the black American experience,” she said.
An article by Trenton Times reporter Emily Brill is available here.
Five additional programs at the Holocaust-Genocide Resource Center are scheduled for later in the semester. See the schedule here.
The center is co-directed by Education faculty member Elizabeth DeGiorgio and the newly selected Edie Seraphine, a member of the center's Advisory Commission.