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Investigators Seek Person Who Painted Swastikas Along Tyler State Park Trail in Newtown

Investigators Seek Person Who Painted Swastikas Along Tyler State Park Trail in Newtown | Human Relations | Scoop.it

Officials from Tyler State Park in Newtown say that while graffiti has been a problem over the years, graffiti that is hateful, racist or anti-Semitic is unusual.

That is why Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub says the people who reported finding swastikas painted along a park trail there did the right thing by reporting it. [Read “Swastikas Spray Painted On Tyler State Park Trail”.] 

"If you feel that you are a victim of antisemitism in particular or a hate crime in general please contact your local police. We do take it very seriously. We will investigate it and run it down and if somebody is guilty of a crime we will prosecute them," Weintraub says.

This comes on the heels of what officials from the New Hope-Solebury School District are only describing as a minor anti-Semitic incident at one of its schools.

An incident followed by a letter sent to parents making sure they are aware of the case, and that steps were being taken to make sure it does not happen again.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic behavior is on the rise across Pennsylvania over the past five years going from 43 reported incidents in 2015 and peaking in 2017 with 96 reported cases.

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Human Relations
This board is dedicated to promoting the value of diversity and addressing discrimination based on age, race, color, gender, religion, creed, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin and disability. These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
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Meet the Newtown Township Human Relations Commission

Meet the Newtown Township Human Relations Commission | Human Relations | Scoop.it

The Newtown Township Human Relations Commission (NTHRC), which was established by the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors on November 28, 2018, met for the first time at a public meeting on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. The purpose of this meeting was to elect a chair, vice chair, secretary, and appoint non-voting members as well as to get input from the public, and prepare for the next steps, which includes training by the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission (PHRC).

Learn more about the NTHRC members and the NT Anti-Discrimination Ordinance here: http://bit.ly/NTHRC-Patch

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Investigators Seek Person Who Painted Swastikas Along Tyler State Park Trail in Newtown

Investigators Seek Person Who Painted Swastikas Along Tyler State Park Trail in Newtown | Human Relations | Scoop.it

Officials from Tyler State Park in Newtown say that while graffiti has been a problem over the years, graffiti that is hateful, racist or anti-Semitic is unusual.

That is why Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub says the people who reported finding swastikas painted along a park trail there did the right thing by reporting it. [Read “Swastikas Spray Painted On Tyler State Park Trail”.] 

"If you feel that you are a victim of antisemitism in particular or a hate crime in general please contact your local police. We do take it very seriously. We will investigate it and run it down and if somebody is guilty of a crime we will prosecute them," Weintraub says.

This comes on the heels of what officials from the New Hope-Solebury School District are only describing as a minor anti-Semitic incident at one of its schools.

An incident followed by a letter sent to parents making sure they are aware of the case, and that steps were being taken to make sure it does not happen again.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic behavior is on the rise across Pennsylvania over the past five years going from 43 reported incidents in 2015 and peaking in 2017 with 96 reported cases.

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Governor, Local State Representatives Support LGBTQ Protections Bill That May Go Nowhere, While Newtown Township Already Acted!

Governor, Local State Representatives Support LGBTQ Protections Bill That May Go Nowhere, While Newtown Township Already Acted! | Human Relations | Scoop.it

Efforts to support protections for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians received support from Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday.

 

Wolf, a Democrat, said he supports legislation that would provide “long-overdue civil rights and hate crime protections for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians.”

 

Among the legislation is the Pennsylvania Fairness Act, which has been referred to the state House of Representatives State Government Committee. The bill has been introduced over the past few years and has not made it forward after several attempts.

 

The bill proposed amendments that would provide certain protections due to “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.” The legislation provides protections for “freedom from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation, for definitions, for unlawful discriminatory practices and for prohibition of certain real estate practices; providing for protection of religious exercise; and further providing for powers and duties of commission, for educational program and for construction and exclusiveness of remedy.”

 

Read: Newtown Becomes the FIRST Township in Bucks County to Pass an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance That Protects the Rights of the LGBTQ Community

 

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Photo shows members of Newtown's Human Relations Commission. Learn more about them here.

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About the Film "I’m Not Racist… Am I?" Spoiler: It's About Institutionalized Racism vs. Bigotry

About the Film "I’m Not Racist… Am I?" Spoiler: It's About Institutionalized Racism vs. Bigotry | Human Relations | Scoop.it

I’m Not Racist… Am I? is a feature documentary about how this next generation is going to confront racism. We asked 12 teenagers from New York City to come together for one school year to talk about race and privilege in a series of workshops and in conversations with friends and family members. We hope that by documenting their experience, the film will inspire others to recognize and interrupt racism in their own lives.

 

The film is part of a larger initiative – Deconstructing Race – developed by The Calhoun School to create a multimedia platform to get young people, their teachers and their families talking – and doing something – about structural systemic racism.

 

In the film we’ll get to know:

 

  • Anna, adopted from Korea by white parents, who says that if she never had a mirror, would think she was white;
  • Martha, whose family is the only white one in her subsidized Harlem building, and who sometimes wishes she were black;
  • Kahleek, nicknamed “white boy” by friends and family, who describes the way people breathe differently as he nears them on the subway;
  • Abby, who is biracial, but only knows the white side of her family and has always felt uncomfortable talking about race;
  • And Sacha, from the city’s affluent Upper West Side, who wants to speak up when his friends who are white say the “N” word, but doesn’t yet know how to do it.
johnmacknewtown's insight:

I attended a screening and discussion of the documentary film "I'm Not Racist...Am I?" at the Newtown Theatre recently. The film’s Producer, André Robert Lee – shown here - led the discussion.

 

The film emphasized that racism is “institutionalized” in our society and we must take steps to counteract that fact. During the discussion, I mentioned one small step towards that goal: the enactment of the Newtown Township Anti-Discrimination Ordnance that established a township Human Relations Commission. The goal of the commission is to hear cases of discrimination in housing and employment.

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Lower Makefield Approves an Equality and Non-Discrimination Resolution and Enacts a Sexual Harassment Policy for Its Staff

Lower Makefield Approves an Equality and Non-Discrimination Resolution and Enacts a Sexual Harassment Policy for Its Staff | Human Relations | Scoop.it

The Board of Supervisors on March 20 sent a message to the community and to its state and federally-elected officials that hate and bigotry “have no home” in Lower Makefield.

 

In a unanimous vote, the five member board of supervisors, made up of four Democrats and one Republican, approved an Equality and Non-Discrimination Resolution brought to the floor by Chairman Dan Grenier.

 

The resolution does four things.

 

First, it makes it known that the township “does not discriminate against any class of individual, including sex, race, color, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, marital stays, medical condition, veterans status or disability.”

 

Secondly, it directs the township manager “to develop and implement a personnel manual and associated training for township employees, which will include policies related to nondiscrimination, sexual harassment, family medical leave, military service and other similar policies as required by federal and state regulations.”

 

Thirdly, it “implores our federal and state elected officials to pursue legislation and policies that provide protections for all members of our community, including, but not limited to, sex, race, color, age, religion, national or ethnic origins, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, marital status, medical condition, veterans status or disability.”

 

In addition, it puts federal and state elected officials on notice that if they fail to enact legislation and policies that provide protection for all members of the community then the board of supervisors “will pursue local approaches for providing these protections to members of our community as allowed by federal and state law.”

 

That would include the consideration of a township ordinance that would be enforceable by the law as opposed to a resolution, which is a non-binding position on an issue.

 

In an update, manager Kurt Ferguson reported that the township now has a sexual harassment policy that has been signed off by its insurance carrier.

 

“We have training scheduled for staff, which will happen internally here on May 10. I think it’s also important for the liability of the township to include all of the employees of the pool - the young high school and college kids - planting the seed regarding what’s appropriate. That will take place in late May or the first week in June. We will have trainers coming in at no cost to the township.

 

“We’re also working on a broader harassment policy and a broader sexual conduct policy that will be more robust,” said Ferguson.

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"It's Never Just Blackface!" Virginia Governor Scandal Doesn’t Surprise People of Color. It's a painful reminder of America’s history of racism, hate and exploitation.

"It's Never Just Blackface!" Virginia Governor Scandal Doesn’t Surprise People of Color. It's a painful reminder of America’s history of racism, hate and exploitation. | Human Relations | Scoop.it

[Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook page]

 

In the brightly lit Vintage Barbershop in northwest Detroit, Thomas Carter carefully trimmed the graying hair of a customer as he was asked about photos that depict whites wearing blackface.

 

He paused and slowly scanned the shop where about a half-dozen black men of various ages awaited their turn. “It’s not funny to me. It’s not funny to me at all,” he said.

 

From police shootings of black men, to white supremacy rallies, to efforts to remove Confederate Civil War monuments, the nation has lurched from one racial controversy to another in recent years. The latest is blackface — in which someone darkens their face and adds bright red lipstick to create stereotypes and caricatures. The disclosures have angered and frustrated many black people, who say it is mocking and demeaning.

 

The practice took hold in New York City in the 1830s and became immensely popular among post-Civil War whites. In fact, the Jim Crow laws that enforced racial segregation in the South took their name from a character played by blackface performer Thomas Dartmouth Rice. He said his act “Jump, Jim Crow” (or “Jumping Jim Crow”) was inspired by a slave he saw.

 

Carter said white people wearing blackface is a painful reminder of America’s history of racism, hate and exploitation.

 

The Northam yearbook photo [Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook page] was even worse because the person in blackface was standing next to another person dressed in a white robe and mask like the Ku Klux Klan, said Korey Garibaldi, an assistant professor in American Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

 

“With that, you have a literal reference to racial terrorism,” Garibaldi said. “It’s never just blackface. There’s always something that makes this just that much more frightening — the Klan, exclusion from school, a job. It’s a whole kind of comprehensive white supremacy, not just a particular sort of image or remark. It’s a structure that needs to be challenged.”

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Governor Wolf to Launch First Statewide LGBTQ Affairs Commission

Governor Wolf to Launch First Statewide LGBTQ Affairs Commission | Human Relations | Scoop.it

Governor Tom Wolf today will sign an executive order creating the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning] Affairs, the only one in the nation.

 

“The creation of the commission on LGBTQ Affairs is one step of many we have taken to ensure obstacles are removed for anyone who is facing an unfair disadvantage based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression,” Gov. Wolf said. “It’s a step we took together with our stakeholder and advocacy groups and one that those involved asked for – a commission to help coordinate and drive statewide equality efforts.”

 

The 40-member commission will be led by executive director Todd Snovel. Most recently the Assistant Dean for Engagement and Inclusion at Lebanon Valley College where he led the team working with students in the co-curricular experience and initiated campus-wide efforts in equity, diversity, and inclusion, Snovel also teaches college-level courses on the studies of genders, sexualities, and identities.

 

“Today’s announcement is timely and important, but also not the end of our efforts to create a Pennsylvania that espouses inclusion and diversity in all that we do,” Gov. Wolf said. “The efforts of the LGBTQ work group, established early in my administration, are recognized in many accomplishments that will continue and that group’s work will move forward as a function of this commission.

 

“When I became governor, we saw that change was needed and we made it happen. Better yet, we are still making it happen and will do so until every Pennsylvanian can live, work, love, and thrive in our state with an assuredness of support and safety.”

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johnmacknewtown's curator insight, August 7, 2018 8:17 AM

If only there was a state law that banned discrimination against the LGBTQ community, local municipalities would not have to pass anti-discrimination ordinances that filled the gap!

 

At the July 11, 2018, Newtown Board of Supervisors meeting, John Mack proposed that Newtown Township adopt an anti-discrimination ordinance similar to neighboring municipalities (e.g., Yardley; read "Yardley Borough Passes Local Anti-Discrimination Ordinance") to protect from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations, etc. Town solicitor Mr. Sander will provide a draft of an ordinance for a future agenda item.

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Use of Term "Redsk*n" by Neshaminy HS is Not Racist, Neshaminy Witness Testifies

Use of Term "Redsk*n" by Neshaminy HS is Not Racist, Neshaminy Witness Testifies | Human Relations | Scoop.it

Monday was the first day of a week-long series of hearings at Bucks County Community College on the school district’s name for its sports teams.

The term “Redskin” to refer to Native Americans is not racist in origin, a witness for the Neshaminy School District testified Monday during the first day of a week-long series of hearings being held by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission at Bucks County Community College in Newtown Township.

The commission filed a lawsuit in 2015 against the district for its use of the name for its sports teams and is seeking to force Neshaminy to change it.

Andre Billeaudeaux, who worked with many Native American tribes during his years in the Coast Guard and has written a book “How the Redskins Got Their Name,” testified that the name comes from the former practice of many tribes — including local ones — of applying sacred red paint to their skin before battle.

“Tribes of this region called themselves Redskins,” Billeaudeaux said. “Redskins has many uses, and can be used in a derogatory way, but not from a native’s perspective. This is who they are. This is what they did. The word Redskin is not a racial slur, and Native Americans support it as a name for sports teams.”

The PHRC filed its suit against the district two years after a Neshaminy parent filed one on behalf of her son that was voluntarily dismissed.

On questioning from commission attorney Lisa Knight, Billeaudeux said the imagery on Neshaminy’s uniforms should be modified to be more “region specific.”

During a break from the hearing, he added that the word “warrior” should probably be added to make the team name “Redskin Warrior.”

The public hearings are scheduled to continue from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day this week in the Rollins Center at the BCCC Newtown Township campus, 275 Swamp Road. Commission spokeswoman Renee Martin said the PHRC will not issue a ruling until weeks or months after the hearings are concluded, and that the school district can appeal to Commonwealth Court if the ruling is not in its favor.

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johnmacknewtown's curator insight, January 8, 8:44 AM

I attended this meeting to see how the PA Human Rights Commission (HRC) operates and meet people who may be of help to the Newtown Township HRC (for more on that, read "

Newtown Township BOS 2018 Accomplishments").

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Some Council Rock North Parents Livid Over Upcoming Concert, Which is Now Canceled!

Some Council Rock North Parents Livid Over Upcoming Concert, Which is Now Canceled! | Human Relations | Scoop.it

[UPDATE: March 2nd FOP Concert Canceled
After conversations between the Bucks County Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 53 and the Council Rock School District, the FOP has decided to cancel its scheduled concert on Saturday, March 2, 2019 that would have featured the band “Confederate Railroad.” This concert, which was never a district-sponsored event, was scheduled to be held at one of our schools through the district’s facility usage process. - Susan O'Grady, Council Rock Community.]

 

A country music concert event scheduled in March at Council Rock North has angered many parents and community members, who are taking issue with the band's name as well as song titles and lyrics.

 

Confederate Railroad has been booked by the Bucks County Fraternal Order of Police to play its annual Country Music Show event on March 2 at the high school in Newtown. The event is not sponsored by the district.

 

But some parents are not pleased the district is permitting a band with such song titles as "She Took It Like A Man," "Psycho Bitch From Hell," and "White Trash with Money" in their repertoire to play at the local school. Further, opponents state, the band name [and logo – see image] is offensive and promotes slavery.

 

A group of the concerned parents have launched a petition demanding the district cancel the booked performance.

 

"Not only is the name of the band offensive, their song titles and lyrics are degrading to women and many others as well. They refer to people as 'white trash,' 'rednecks,' and 'trashy women,'" says the petition, which was launched by the Council Rock Concerned Community Members group.

 

The petition makes clear the event is not sponsored by the district, but takes issue with the fact that it is even being permitted on school grounds.

 

As of Thursday afternoon, 38 people have signed the petition. You can view it here.

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johnmacknewtown's curator insight, February 1, 7:19 AM

I signed the petition!

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Students at George School Create a Muslim Prayer Space in Quaker Meeting House. “We believe there is God in everyone.”

Students at George School Create a Muslim Prayer Space in Quaker Meeting House. “We believe there is God in everyone.” | Human Relations | Scoop.it

Saleema Walter and Anisgul Stanikzai traveled to George School in Bucks County from hometowns 6,800 miles apart, but when the students settled in at the Quaker institution’s scenic 240-acre campus in Newtown, they missed the same things.

 

The absence of traditions associated with their Islamic faith — in North Brunswick, N.J., for Walter, and Jalalalbad, Afghanistan, for Stanikzai — left a void that they filled by meeting their religion’s obligations mostly alone.

 

“There are so many students on campus who are close to each other ethnically, culturally, or religiously,” said Walter, 17. “I would see that and wish I had it.”

 

So, the two decided to re-create the communal feeling they missed. Walter revived a dormant Islamic student association soon after she enrolled in 2015, and earlier this year, she teamed up with Stanikzai, 19, to transform a part of a historic Quaker meeting house on the campus into a place where she and other Muslim students could feel at home.

 

The two students, seniors set to graduate May 26, turned part of the balcony of the 207-year-old house of worship erected by the Religious Society of Friends into a Muslim prayer space. The small section, which had been used for storage, is now defined by a billowy blue curtain. Inside are prayer rugs, Qurans, and strings of beads to be held when making holy petitions while crouched and facing Mecca.

 

A curtain defines the new prayer space for Muslim students and faculty on the George School campus in Newtown, Pa. The space is inside the Quaker school's historic meeting house.

 

Stanikzai calls it “the best moment to have a place dedicated to our religion,” which is practiced by about 15 students.

 

George School’s Quaker roots made not only the accommodation, but the location inside a meeting house, an easy call, said J. Samuel Houser, head of school. The religion is not dogmatic, he said, “We believe there is God in everyone.”

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9 Ways to Support Students During Ramadan

9 Ways to Support Students During Ramadan | Human Relations | Scoop.it

In 2019, Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, runs from May 5 to June 4. This means that for students all over the US, class will be in session. Ramadan is a festive time in Islam, meant for togetherness and community. For Muslim students, however, it can sometimes be lonely or isolating. Fortunately, there are a few simple things teachers can do to support students during Ramadan.

 

See the 9 suggestions here.

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Swastikas Spray Painted On Tyler State Park Trail

Swastikas Spray Painted On Tyler State Park Trail | Human Relations | Scoop.it

Swastikas Spray Painted On Tyler State Park Trail - Newtown, PA - The park manager said this is the first time in his tenure that he has seen racist graffiti in the park.

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Bucks County Group Envisions Permanent Location for African-American Museum

Bucks County Group Envisions Permanent Location for African-American Museum | Human Relations | Scoop.it

The African American Museum of Bucks County wants to develop a permanent museum that tells the stories of blacks in Bucks County, and they want it to be of the same class as the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

 

But first the traveling museum must raise enough money to buy a building.

 

The museum’s board of directors has been tight-lipped about how much money it needs to raise and how much it has raised so far, but spokeswoman Natalie Kaye told the Bucks County Courier Times last year that they hoped to raise $300,000.

 

Kaye also told the Courier Times in 2018 that an anonymous $5,000 donation was used to start the building fund, and $2,000 in private contributions and two $500 contributions from the Bucks County Commissioners have been used to cover operating expenses to date.

 

Longtime Langhorne residents Harvey Spencer Sr. and Millard Mitchell came up with the idea for the museum in 2013. Both men died in 2016, and the board of directors has continued to work toward their dream.

 

For the last few years, the all-volunteer group has taken its artifacts — which include African-made jewelry, books featuring prominent African Americans, quilts and historical information — to businesses, libraries and schools across Bucks County. It also hosts speaker series and educational events.

 

The most recent stop for its traveling exhibit is the Pearl S. Buck House in Upper Bucks County.

 

“The story that we wanted to tell is a story that we think is often not told in its totality,” said Laura Lomax, vice president of programming at the Pearl S. Buck House.

 

The exhibit, called “Building on the Dream: From Africa to Bucks County,” features the accomplishments of people like Walter Lomax, who was a doctor for Martin Luther King Jr.; Selma Burke, an artist during the Harlem Renaissance; Paul Keene, who was also an artist; and Winston Scott, who helped operate a Navy Base in Warminster. The exhibit is on display at the Pearl S. Buck House through July.

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Human Rights Campaign Fights for LGBTQ Equality in Pennsylvania

Human Rights Campaign Fights for LGBTQ Equality in Pennsylvania | Human Relations | Scoop.it

As part of HRC Rising, HRC’s bold, proactive grassroots expansion, HRC is making an especially strong, early push to organize in Pennsylvania against the Trump-Pence agenda and support pro-equality candidates in coming elections. Learn more here.

 

HRC’s new report, A Path To Victory In 2018: The Power Of The Equality Voter, illustrates the growing political power of the LGBTQ movement and HRC’s groundbreaking work to mobilize millions of “Equality Voters” in the 2018 elections.

 

Human Rights Campaign fights for LGBTQ equality in Pennsylvania alongside state and local groups and lawmakers. Find out more about what HRC is doing for LGBTQ equality in Pennsylvania and how you can get involved with the Philadelphia community.

 

The existing patchwork of legal protections for LGBTQ people in the United States leaves millions subject to uncertainty and potential discrimination. That’s why the Human Rights Campaign is continuing the fight on the local, state and federal levels for full LGBTQ equality.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Further Reading:

  • “Newtown Becomes the FIRST Township in Bucks County to Pass an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance That Protects the Rights of the LGBTQ Community”; http://sco.lt/8q8iRd
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Newtown Becomes the FIRST Township in Bucks County to Pass an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance That Protects the Rights of the LGBTQ Community

Newtown Becomes the FIRST Township in Bucks County to Pass an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance That Protects the Rights of the LGBTQ Community | Human Relations | Scoop.it

Supervisors approved an ordinance Wednesday evening establishing a new Human Relations commission, which can review and answer complaints from residents alleging discrimination based on “actual or perceived” qualities not covered under federal or state law.

 

Newtown Township has joined Yardley and Hatboro in establishing anti-discrimination protections for its residents this year.

 

The board voted 4-0, with Supervisor Kyle Davis absent, to approve an ordinance forming a three- to five-member Human Relations commission, tasked with reviewing complaints from residents alleging discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations or access to educational institutions.

 

The measure is intended to safeguard against unequal treatment based on an individual’s “actual or perceived” race, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or disability.

 

After receiving a complaint, the commission can facilitate fact-finding conferences with parties in a dispute, conduct investigations and potentially hold public hearings where the parties can provide testimony. Members could then decide whether to issue a cease-and-desist order or take “additional action” as deemed appropriate.

 

Supervisor John Mack first floated the idea for the ordinance in July, and in September, the board heard a presentation from Yardley Councilman David Bria, who led the charge on Yardley’s anti-discrimination ordinance earlier this year.

 

Sexual orientation and gender identity are not spelled out as protected under federal or state law, leaving appellate courts in various districts to decide differently as to whether any protections exist at all, Bria said.

 

With supervisors’ approval Wednesday evening, Newtown Township has become Bucks County’s first township to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance. Between 2002 and 2013, officials approved similar ordinances in New Hope, Doylestown Borough, Newtown Borough and Bristol Borough, with Yardley and Hatboro joining in in March and May, respectively. All are boroughs compared to a township.

 

Newtown Township’s vote also expands the number of county residents living in municipalities with anti-discrimination protections in place, on account of its size compared to the six boroughs.

 

Before Wednesday evening, 32,676 residents of those boroughs, or 5.2 percent of Bucks County’s 625,249 residents, lived in protected municipalities. Now, factoring in Newtown Township’s 19,299 residents, 51,975 residents, or 8.3 percent, are covered, according to census data.

 

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johnmacknewtown's curator insight, November 30, 2018 7:03 AM

Ever since I first interviewed David Bria in December, 2017 (https://www.johnmacknewtown.info/briapodcast1.html), it was my goal and my promise to Dave to bring this before the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors. I thank my fellow Supervisors for diligently doing their research on this issue and crafting this ordinance. The next step is to get volunteers to serve on the Human Relations Commission established by the ordinance. Only when this commission is formed will this ordinance come into effect. Stay tuned.

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Newtown Township Human Relations Commission Will Hold First Public Meeting

Newtown Township Human Relations Commission Will Hold First Public Meeting | Human Relations | Scoop.it

At the January 7, 2019, reorganization meeting, the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS) appointed 5 people to the newly created Human Relations Commission (HRC), which was established by the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance passed by the BOS on November 28, 2018 (read “Newtown Township BOS 2018 Accomplishments” http://bit.ly/BOS2018accomplishments)

 

Here are the members of the Commission:

 

  1. Mercy Ingraham
  2. Aamir Nayeem
  3. Joe O'Neill
  4. Angelic Ranck
  5. Amber Ray

 

Thank you Mercy, Aamir, Joe, Angelic, and Amber for volunteering!

 

Learn more about the Commission members here.

 

FIRST PUBLIC MEETING

The first public meeting of the HRC will be held on February 20, 2019, 7 pm, at the Newtown Township Public Meeting Room, 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, PA.

 

The main item on the agenda is "Organization of the Commission" to appoint a Chair and Secretary. The agenda also includes: "Public Comment", "Old Business", and "New Business". Any member of the public can made comments for the record. Any member of the HRC can bring up items for discussion and voting (if necessary) under "New Business". This may include ideas for promoting the Commission and sponsoring educational events.

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Term "Redsk*n" is Offensive, Neshaminy Teacher & Former Student Playwickian Editor Testify

Term "Redsk*n" is Offensive, Neshaminy Teacher & Former Student Playwickian Editor Testify | Human Relations | Scoop.it

District teachers union President Tara Huber and former student and student newspaper editor Gillian McGoldrick said they consider the name Neshaminy uses for its sports teams racist.

 

Neshaminy School District teachers union President Tara Huber was told by Superintendent Joseph Jones III that she should “find work elsewhere” when she brought up the “Redskin” name and logo the district uses for its sports teams, Huber testified Tuesday during a Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission hearing on the issue.

 

During the second day of a weeklong series of hearings being held at Bucks County Community College in Newtown Township, Huber said she brought up the name issue to Jones last year after a meeting of a district committee designed to promote workplace diversity.

 

“I asked him how can we be having discussions about workplace diversity while at the same time having a mascot that is racist,” Huber testified.

 

At one point during their talk, Jones told her she should “find work elsewhere” if she felt that way, Huber added.

 

During her lengthy testimony Tuesday, Huber recounted the long history of the “Redskin” issue as it related to the Neshaminy student newspaper The Playwickian. Huber, an English teacher at Neshaminy School, was faculty advisor to the newspaper from 2000 to 2016.

 

The newspaper first published an editorial opposing the use of the name in 2001, and then two more during Huber’s later years as advisor. In 2013, a majority of the editorial staff voted to ban use of the name from the paper. The district eventually imposed a policy that the name could be deleted from stories but not from submitted letters or opinion pieces, Huber said.

 

McGoldrick, a 2016 Neshaminy graduate and a junior at Temple University, was on the Playwickian staff all four years of high school and was editor-in-chief her last year. She had started attending Neshaminy schools as a sixth-grader after going to Catholic schools before that.

 

She testified that her opinion about the use of the name changed in 2013 during a newsroom debate on the issue.

 

“I just accepted it at first and didn’t think much about it,” she said. “I knew it was a big tradition. During this debate I started on the side that was defending use of the name. Then, somebody on the other side compared use of the Redskin name to (another slur), and that made me just get up and change sides. It felt like I had been lied to, that I had been bamboozled into thinking use of ‘Redskin’ was OK and I had been accepting it for so long.”

 

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johnmacknewtown's curator insight, January 10, 6:45 AM

 

The suit from the state commission came after a 2013 lawsuit filed by Donna Fann-Boyle, the mother of a Neshaminy student. The suit said her child was Native American and suffered educational and other harm due to the "mascot." Ms. Fann-Boyle is scheduled to testify today (Jan 10, 2019).

 

Related Articles:

  • “Public Hearing to Remove Neshaminy High School's Discriminatory Mascot Name & Image”; http://sco.lt/5qxRbt
  • “Use of Term "Redskin" by Neshaminy HS is Not Racist, Neshaminy Witness Testifies”; http://sco.lt/6xn5KD 
Rescooped by johnmacknewtown from News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
Scoop.it!

A Deeper Understanding of the "Redsk*ns" Conversation


This is a guest blog post contributed by Arla Patch who I met at a recent weeklong series of hearings held by the PA Human Rights Commission at Bucks County Community College in Newtown Township. Ms. Patch was the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Maine Wabanaki State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission when she lived in Maine. She now lives in Quakertown.


Why do some communities hang on with all their might to the term “Redsk*ns,” which is considered a racist slur by many, while other communities hear the Native American voices that ask them to release it? In particular, why do the largely Euro-America members of the Nashaminy school board, teachers and parents say they use the racial slur “R word” to HONOR Native Americans and yet attack, berate and highly disrespect the very Native People who are asking them to stop using it? Even when Native American members of the same community insist that it DOES NOT honor them?

 

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johnmacknewtown's curator insight, February 5, 10:52 AM

Further Reading:

  • “Term "Redsk*n" is Offensive, Neshaminy Teacher & Former Student Playwickian Editor Testify”; http://sco.lt/7tgRmL
  • “Use of Term "Redsk*n" by Neshaminy HS is Not Racist, Neshaminy Witness Testifies”; http://sco.lt/6xn5KD