BOARDS & COMMITTEES

Civil Rights Commission

400 Witherspoon Street

Purpose:

The Princeton Civil RIghts Commission is an advisory board of the Municipal Council that serves the Princeton Community With roots reaching back to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s, Being first established in 1968, in direct response to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and resounding hail of support from communities throughout Princeton. The current Commission was re-established as a stand alone commission in 2017 after 19 years as a subcommittee of Human Services following municipal re-org in 1998. Members are appointed by the mayor and serve 3 year terms on a voluntary basis. The mission of the CRC is to work cooperatively among people and groups, to aid in the elimination of discrimination between people based on: race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, martial status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, sex, gender identity or expression, disability or atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait or the liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States and the nationality of any individual.

The Commission aspires to shine the light of truth on issues that members of the Princeton Community are facing so that they can feel safe, seen, welcome, and included.

How Does the Civil Rights Commission Achieve Its Purpose?

  • It recommends ways and means of initiating and improving municipal    programs for coordination of community efforts to address problems involving tensions in the community
  • It develops community education programs that foster open and effective dialogues about race relations.
  • It makes recommendations to the Princeton Mayor and Council for the development of policies, procedures, and programs that will aid in the prevention and elimination and discrimination in Princeton.
  • It takes an active role in promoting and protecting civil rights by either initiating community dialogues and/or collaborating with other organizations to co-sponsor relevant programs and events.
  • It provides an informal mechanism to resolve complaints through a facilitated dialogue by any persons claiming to be aggrieved by discrimination. Voluntary non-binding conflict resolution.

For more information about the Civil Rights Commission please see our Fact Sheet and Guidelines Policies and Procedures.

Members of the Civil Rights Commission:
  • Thomas A. Parker, Chair
  • Anastasia Mann, Vice Chair
  • Jean Durbin
  • Rev. Karen Hernandez-Granzen
  • Lewis Maltby
  • Surinder Sharma
  • Fern Spruill
  • Nick Di Domizio, LGBTQ Liaison (Online Contact Form)
  • Leticia Fraga, Council Liaison

Table of Contents

Commission Meetings

How Can the Civil Rights Commission Help Me?

Events

Initiatives, Goals and Ongoing Partnerships

Initiatives

2020 Goals

Civil Rights Commission has supported

Partnerships

Groups of Protected Categories

Related Resources

Commission Meetings:

Civil Rights Commission meetings take place on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 6pm in the Community Room - 400 Witherspoon Street or online when necessary.  Please check the calendar for updates, including virtual meeting information. 

How Can the Civil Rights Commission Help Me?

  • The Civil Rights Commission can work with people to offer voluntary, non-binding conflict resolution.
  • If you would like to learn more about conflict resolution  through the Civil Rights Commission' please contact us using THIS FORM.
  • In the event that conflict resolution is not a good solution, the Civil Rights Commission can provide access to a list of Mediators.
  • In the event that this is not a good solution then the consideration can be moved to the New Jersey Department of Civil Rights.

Please be advised that any issues must be brought to the NJ Department of Civil Rights within 180 days.

For further information, please see our Guidelines, Policies and Procedures document

Events

As part of outreach and education efforts we collaborate with a wide variety of community partners.

Upcoming:

Previous Events (Both CRC initiated and where we partnered with others)

Initiatives, Goals and Ongoing Partnerships

Initiatives
Municipal Equality Index

The Civil Rights Commission works in collaboration with the Department of Human Services each year to consider how Princeton rates according to the Municipal Equality Index (MEI).

Some changes that have been made/suggested on foot of this review are:

  • Unisex Single Stall Restroom Ordinance 2019-26 adopted July 8, 2019
  • Establishment of an LGBTQ+ Liaison to the Civil Rights Commission
  • Establishment of an LGBTQ+ Liaison to the Princeton Police Department


Indigenous Peoples Day - Resolution 2019-278 Adopted September 9, 2019

In 2019 the Civil Rights Commission put forth a resolution to adopt Indigenous Peoples Day on the 2nd Monday of October in perpetuity. 

The ad-hoc committee who worked on this initiative was made up of members of the Civil Rights Commission and members of the community including Daniel A. Harris and Patricia Soll.

Part of the resolution is an ongoing commitment to seek equity for Indigenous people. There are three tribal nations that the State of New Jersey formally recognizes: The Ramapough Lenape Nation, The Nanticoke Lenni Lenape Tribal Nation, and the Renape Powhatan Nation.

Princeton is the 2nd NJ locality, first in Philly region to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day” by Ximena Conde


Census 2020 - Resolution 2019-317 Adopted October 14, 2019  

Created a Census 2020 Complete Count Committee to Plan and Conduct Local Educational Initiatives, Publicity and Promotional Activities to Increase Community Awareness and Participation in the 2020 Census. 

2020 Goals

Community Outreach: The CRC committed to renewed outreach efforts. This will mean continuing to build relationships with the many diverse communities within our community, hosting listening sessions, and working with groups to develop public programming.

Ban the Box | Review of Municipal Forms for Hiring Practices: New Jersey has banned the check box that asks if applicants have a criminal record during the initial employment application process. The Civil Rights Commission is working with the Town Administrator to identify ways to make the municipal application process even more equitable and transparent. 

Juneteenth Resolution: The Civil Rights Commission will be working with members of the community to create a Juneteenth resolution to submit to the Town Council for consideration.

Reparations Dialogue and Education: Reparations is an issue that is being discussed and considered across the nation. In 2019 H.R.40 - Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African Americas Act was introduced to the House. The Civil Rights Commission hopes to begin dialogue and provide information about reparations in 2020.

Civil Rights Commission has supported:

Resolution Declaring Racism A Public Health Crisis | Resolution 20-195

Resolution Calling Upon The White House And Congress To Reunify Migrant Families, Release Them From Detention And Afford Them Due Process In Immigration Proceedings | Resolution 20-40

Partnerships

There are many organizations, groups, and people who are working to insure that the town of Princeton is a welcoming, equitable, town. Listening to our community helps us to get a better sense not only of the challenges we continue to face, and we can learn the solutions that different communities have identified. Like every other town, we have work to do, and the CRC recognizes that we can achieve not only more, but in a more meaningful way by working together.


Princeton Public Schools: Members of the CIvil RIghts Commission regularly work with the Princeton Public Schools attending Diversity Council and Equity Committee meetings.

Department of Human Services: The Department of Human Services is focused on improving the quality of life of individuals in need.

Princeton Public Library: The Princeton Public Library strives to be at the heart of a civically engaged community and regularly collaborates with the Civil Rights Commission around public programming and a space for CRC ‘office hours’.

Groups of Protected Categories

The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights offers a great deal of information about the laws, regulations and policies related to civil rights in New Jersey.

New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD)

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq.) (LAD) makes it unlawful to subject people to discrimination or harassment based on race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, sex, pregnancy, breastfeeding, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, familial status, marital status, domestic partnership/civil union status, liability for military service and in some cases, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information and age. The LAD prohibits unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, places of public accommodation, credit and business contracts. Not all of the foregoing prohibited bases for discrimination are protected in all of these areas of activity. For example, familial status is only protected with respect to housing.

For more information on each please click the categories below

  • Race - Civil Rights Act of 1954
  • Creed
  • Color
  • Nationality - Civil Rights Act of 1954
  • Ancestry
  • Sex - Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Civil Rights Act of 1954
  • Pregnancy  - Pregnancy Discrimination Act
  • Breastfeeding
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression - as of Bostock v Clayton County - Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Disability Status - Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • Familial Status - Civil Rights Act of 1968 Title VIII: Prohibits discrimination for having children, with an exception for senior housing. Also prohibits making a preference for those with children
  • Marital Status
  • Domestic Partnership/Civil Union Status
  • Union Status
  • Liability for Military Service/Veteran’s Rights - Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
  • Atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information - Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
  • Age - Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967


Related Resources

     

Related Resources

Ordinances

Documents
Ordinance Description
Status
AN ORDINANCE BY THE MUNICIPALITY OF PRINCETON REGARDING THE CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION AND AMENDING THE “CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, 197
Status:
Adopted
Introduced:
January 14, 2019
Public Hearing:
February 11, 2019
Date Adopted:
February 11, 2019
Defeated:
AN ORDINANCE BY THE MUNICIPALITY OF PRINCETON ADDING ALTERNATE MEMBERS TO THE CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION AND THE BICYCLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE, AND AMENDING CHAPTER 2 OF THE “CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, 1974”
Status:
Adopted
Introduced:
February 10, 2020
Public Hearing:
February 24, 2020
Date Adopted:
February 24, 2020
Defeated:

Meetings

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7/26/2020
6:00 pm
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Please join us for the beginning of a series of community conversations with the Civil Rights Commission. 

On Sunday, July 26 at 6pm, The Civil Rights Commission will join Chief Nicholas Sutter and Mayor Liz Lempert in conversation regarding recent events and to explore the next steps that we would like to explore as a community.

Please submit any questions or comments here

8/23/2020
6:00 pm
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Please join us for the next session in our series of community conversations with the Civil Rights Commission. 

Meeting instructions listed on Notice

9/27/2020
3:00 pm
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Please join us for the next session in our series of community conversations with the Civil Rights Commission. 

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