Friday, May 8, 2015

2015 Princeton Prize in Race Relations

RantWoman is fond of explaining that she sort of majored in political activism in college. By majored in political activism, RantWoman means all kinds of things that one would not necessarily think would endear one to the alumni association: writing for the most opinionated of the campus publications, making the rounds of campus offices soliciting funds to bring speakers to campus, a time or two picketing various University officials, demonstrations to welcome visiting distinguished alumni, being part of the catalyst for an anti-apartheid sit-in during senior year finals week...

RantWoman is deeply humbled by the opportunity to participate in the local alumni association part of the Princeton Prize in Race Relations. RantWoman does not really think it appropriate to say more than that except to reprint excerpts of the thank-you email she received highlighting the powerful work of this year's winners across the country.

WARM Congratulations to the winners and THANKS to everyone on the local committee!


PPRR banner
Dear Princeton Prize Volunteers,
For most of our 25 regions, the most active part of the 2014-2015 Princeton Prize year has come to a close. Just this week, awards ceremonies will be and have been held in Boston; Baltimore/Washington, DC; St. Louis; and New York City. Post-Ferguson and Baltimore, the work of the students we recognize seems all the more important. We have remaining ceremonies in Cleveland; Denver; Memphis; Miami; Pittsburgh; San Diego; San Francisco; and Seattle.

I want to thank each of you for the role you played to make a difference by supporting efforts to reduce racism and promote more harmonious relations in our nation. From my position as Chair, the work of these amazing students cannot help but prompt us to be more courageous in seeking justice in our daily round.

This year, we have received unprecedented media coverage across the country, including this story on the University website. A Prize winner posted it on Facebook before any Princeton Prize board members detected it!

Princeton University - Princeton Prize honors 27 high school students for promoting understanding, respect
Winner picture
In case you did not know of this astounding and sobering story, one of the New York City winners this year is Mamadou Diallo,  who improves race relations by challenging  diverse youth to work in computer coding to create racial harmony apps. Amadou Diallo, unarmed and killed after NYPD officers fired 41 shots, is Mr. Diallo's cousin. To think that each of you played a role in bringing students from around the country into his social justice network and him into theirs is a solemn reminder of the gravity of the work we do.  We have members of the Class of 1966 and the estate of Dora Y. Lee '76 to thank as well.  They provide the financial support for the Princeton Prize Symposium on Race.

Kudos to each of you as members of our beloved community,
Debbie Scott Williams
National Board Chair
Princeton Prize in Race Relations

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