A community discussion about race, ethnicity, and religious differences in South Jersey spanned two-and-a-half hours in the Haddon Township Public Library Thursday night.
One of the roles of a responsible news organization is to facilitate conversation across a broad audience.
In an effort to broaden our mutual understanding of the depth and character of the neighborhoods we serve, NJ Pen hosted a community forum in Haddon Township Thursday to talk about the local impact of race, ethnicity, and gender identity issues that are observable today on a national scale.
We decided to call it, “An Uncomfortable Conversation.”
Our intention in creating a venue for this conversation was to create a public opportunity for talking about difficult, often uncomfortable, topics, as well as an opportunity for open dialogue about them. We were supported in this effort by a panel of speakers from throughout South Jersey:
- Camden County Freeholder Jonathan Young
- Reverend Alice Cook of the Rhoads Temple United Methodist Church
- PFLAG Collingswood Vice President Jim DeSimone
- Certified School Psychologist Michele Messer
- David Snyder, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Southern New Jersey
Collingswood-based recording engineer Jay Mage of Mageworks provided live sound for the event and orchestrated our streaming broadcast, which is available in two parts on the NJ Pen YouTube channel. The Haddon Township Public Library hosted the event in its public meeting room.
A thank-you also goes out to our refreshment sponsors, Revolution Coffee Roasters and Silver Spoon Catering. Both businesses were immediately supportive of this event, and we are grateful for their generosity in providing fresh-roasted coffee and sumptuous platters of fresh, delicious food.
If you missed the conversation, you can catch up with our cached streams below.
Thanks to all who attended, all who are catching up with this information after the fact, and all who may work to continue these conversations with their neighbors in the future.
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