Black Asian American Solidarity Professional Development Event

Please join us for our inaugural Black Asian American Solidarity Professional Development Event!

Oct 11, 2023, 9:00 am3:00 pm
  • Alumni
  • Faculty & Staff
  • Graduate Affairs
  • Public



Event Description
  • Opening Remarks - Dr. Ruha Benjamin of Princeton University
  • Keynote Address - Dr. Beth Lew-Williams of Princeton University
  • Amistad Curriculum - Dr. Patrick Lamy, Executive Director of the Amistad Commission
  • Hidden Voices Curriculum - Dr. Khyati Joshi of Fairleigh Dickinson University
  • Asian American Education Project Curriculum- Samantha Chang of The Asian American Education Project

There will be eleven options for “make-and-take” small group sessions for teachers and curriculum supervisors on Black history, AAPI history and Cross Cultural Solidarity.

Small Group Workshops

Seabrook Farms with Professor Andy Urban of Rutgers University

By the end of World War Two, Seabrook Farms was unrivaled as a producer of canned, dehydrated, and frozen vegetables. During periods of peak production, the company employed nearly 7,000 laborers in its fields, plants, offices, and trucking fleets on an annual basis, in positions that ranged from seasonal harvesting and assembly line work to year-round plant and storage maintenance. In the 1930s and 1940s, Seabrook Farms became reliant on thousands of Black migrant farmworkers from the U.S. South who, on an annual basis from late-April to November, were subcontracted for fieldwork, housed in camps lacking indoor plumbing, electricity, heating, sanitary waste disposal, and other basic amenities, and denied access to better paying, unionized jobs in the company’s packing facilities. In 1943, Seabrook Farms started recruiting incarcerated Japanese Americans from camps in the West and Arkansas under the War Relocation Authority’s “resettlement” program to avoid having to elevate Black workers into higher-ranking positions within the company. By the war’s end, more than 2,500 Japanese Americans had relocated to Upper Deerfield Township in Cumberland County, to work for the company.

As Professor Urban will explore in this workshop, the Seabrook Educational and Cultural Center has begun the process of recognizing this complicated and difficult history and has taken steps to ensure that Black workers’ history with the company is told. This workshop group will also address how Seabrook Farms can be understood as a site where tensions between Black Americans and Asian Americans existed alongside acts and expressions of solidarity.

Hopewell Valley Regional School District Superintendent Dr. Rosetta Treece will lead a small group session on “How to set up your classroom to prevent microaggressions.”

Why APIDA Curriculum Matters with Samantha Chang of Asian American Education Project

This workshop provides an overview of the Asian American Education Project’s lesson plans and the five thematic units on citizenship; civil rights; identity; immigration; and racism. It will cover the importance of including APIDA history in school curriculums through exploring the contributions of APIDAs in labor activism; the fight for school integration and citizenship rights; the use of Model Minority Myth as a racial wedge; how the Perpetual Foreigner Stereotype is part of systemic racism; and the intersectionality of APIDAs and other minority communities.

Rutgers University Graduate School of Education Doctoral Student and Social Justice Instructor, Anthony N. Jones will lead a session on “From the Civil Rights Movement to the Birth of Hip-Hop: How pedagogy and music have played a role in youth activism and education. The workshop will also highlight the core concepts of reforming school curriculum to fight racial discrimination.

Integrating APIDA in your Everyday Teaching with Samantha Chang of Asian American Education Project

This workshop is designed to provide educators with multiple ways to integrate APIDA histories into existing teaching strategies. The goal of this workshop is to help educators brainstorm ways to seamlessly include APIDA narratives and to move beyond focusing only on heritage months and holidays related to APIDA communities.

Another key component of this workshop is to make teachers feel competent and confident in presenting APIDA histories. APIDA history and content must be taught intentionally and exist throughout curricula. It is also important for APIDA histories to be taught through the perspective of APIDAs.

Building Continental Bridges: Black & Asian American Solidarity with Gabriel Tanglao of NJEA and Sundjata Sekou

The "Building Continental Bridges” workshop is intended to foster solidarity, show connections, collaborations, and showcase how white supremacy has pitted Black and Asian communities against each other. This session will focus on specific examples of Black and Filipinx solidarity from the past, present, and future. Additional resources available here.

Windows and Mirrors: Creating Spaces for Identity and Belonging with Laura Zhang Choi of The E Pluribus Unum Project

Exploring stories that shape our identities and foster a sense of belonging, or lack thereof; and examining how intersectionalities either empower or hinder growth, learning, and identity formation. A broad view of how policies have shaped the experiences of various people groups and individual communities will be surveyed. The latter part of the session will be tailored to your community and the people/students you serve directly, considering data/demographics of your community and offering best practices to tell a better and more inclusive story for all students where all of their stories matter and where they all belong. The session will be presented through an intersectional lens, especially considering the needs of marginalized students. Resources for lessons and/or best practices will be offered. “Lowest hanging fruit” changes can be explored together for immediate implementation.

Trauma psychologist and racial justice advocate Dr. Nathalie Edmond will lead a small group session on racial identity, marginalized identities, and how to psychologically ground oneself for teaching emotionally charged material.

Assemblymember and Princeton Professor Sadaf Jaffer will lead a small group session on Asian American history.

Denyse Leslie, Dr. Joy Barnes-Johnson and Leonie Houndode of the Paul Robeson House of Princeton will lead small group sessions to develop interdisciplinary lessons about the life and legacy of Paul Robeson.

Local historian, retired Princeton high school guidance counselor and sixth generation Princetonian Shirley Satterfield of the Witherspoon Jackson Cultural and Historical Society will lead a small group session on Black history in Princeton and the process of desegregation of the schools in Princeton, which she experienced firsthand.

View "A Prologue to the Chapters that Follow": Princeton and Paul Robeson, an exhibition developed by the Historical Society of Princeton, the Princeton Public Library, the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical & Cultural Society, and the Paul Robeson House of Princeton, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Stephanie Schwartz, HSP's Curator of Collections and Research, will be present to discuss the exhibition.

Curriculum supervisors and superintendents from Princeton Public Schools, Hopewell Valley Regional School District and Milltown Township Public Schools, West Windsor Plainsboro Regional School District, West Orange School District and Tenafly Public Schools have helped plan the event.

This event is organized by The E Pluribus Unum Project in collaboration with the NJEA Consortium, Paul Robeson House of Princeton, Not In Our Town Princeton, and the Witherspoon Jackson Cultural and Historical Society.

We will share 3-5 Curated lesson plans for teachers to take back to their schools

Participating teachers and curriculum supervisors will do a mini PD at their school districts to share their knowledge with other teachers in their districts.

Speaker bios:

Ruha Benjamin is the Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of African American studies at Princeton University where she specializes in the interdisciplinary study of science, medicine, and technology with a focus on the relationship between innovation and social inequity. She is author of three books, including Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want (Princeton University Press), winner of the 2023 Stowe Prize, Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Polity), winner of the 2020 Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award for antiracist scholarship and the 2020 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize for Nonfiction, People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier (Stanford University Press), and editor of Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life (Duke University Press). Her next book, Imagination: A Manifesto, is forthcoming with W. W. Norton & Company.

Professor Benjamin received her BA in sociology and anthropology from Spelman College, MA and PhD in sociology from UC Berkeley, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at UCLA’s Institute for Society and Genetics and Harvard University’s Science, Technology, and Society Program. She has been awarded fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and Institute for Advanced Study. In 2017, she received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton and, in 2020, the Marguerite Casey Foundation Inaugural Freedom Scholar Award.


Beth Lew-Williams is Associate Professor of History at Princeton University. She is a historian of race and migration in the United States, specializing in Asian American history. Her book, The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018), won the Ray Allen Billington Prize and the Ellis W. Halley Prize from the Organization of American Historians. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, her next book project, John Doe Chinaman, will consider the policing of Chinese migrants in the American West.


Dr. Patrick Lamy is the Executive Director of the Amistad Commission. Dr. Lamy grew up in Fordham, Bronx, New York, and has resided in Essex County, NJ since 1981. Dr. Lamy received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Caldwell College followed by a Master of Arts in Education and Human Services from Montclair State University and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Seton Hall University.

Over the past nineteen years at Bloomfield College, Dr. Lamy has held the following positions: Resident Director, Residence Life Coordinator, EOF Counselor/Tutorial Program Coordinator, Director of Residence Life, Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Officer and most recently, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. What Dr. Lamy enjoys most about his employment at the College are his interactions with students, and the opportunities to collaborate with all sectors of the College Community to provide Bloomfield College students with an enriching and challenging educational experience.

Dr. Lamy is very active in the broader Essex County Community where he serves as a mentor to several young men and women in high school and college. He is a recognized member of Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities Professionals; American College Personnel Association; American Counseling Association; and the Association for the Study of Higher Education. He is a member of the Editorial Board for the Leadership Exchange Journal from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators; the previous member of several conference planning committees for the American Association of Colleges and Universities and the New Jersey Association for Affirmative Action in Higher Education.


Dr. Khyati Y. Joshi is a Professor in the School of Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University (NJ), where she was recognized with the FDU Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship in 2014. Her most recent book is White Christian Privilege: The Illusion of Religious Equality in America (NYU Press, 2020). She is the author and co-editor of Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, 3rd edition (Routledge, 2016), one of the most widely-used books by diversity practitioners and social justice scholars alike. Her other works include New Roots in America’s Sacred Ground: Religion, Race, and Ethnicity in Indian America (Rutgers U. Press, 2006); Envisioning Religion, Race, and Asian Americans (University of Hawaii Press, 2020) and Asian Americans in Dixie: Race and Migration in the South (U. of Illinois Press, 2013), both as co-editor; and numerous book chapters and articles. Most recently, she is Co-Pi for a $1,000,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation in support of a 4-year project with the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI).

She has lectured around the world, including at the White House; to policy-makers at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); and for scholarly and popular audiences in Denmark, India, Lebanon, and across the United States. She is also the co-founder of the Institute for Teaching Diversity and Social Justice, which offers multi-day professional development programs for educators, since 2007. Often contacted by journalists, Dr. Joshi has appeared on MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, BNC (the Black News Channel), NDTV in India, CNA (Channel News Asia, Singapore), and has been interviewed on the radio at Voice of America, PRI’s The World, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and NPR’s Morning Edition, and numerous other radio programs and podcasts across the United States. Her words and insights appear in publications in the U.S. and abroad such as the New York Times, NBC News Asian America, The Times of India, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Deseret News, the Boston Globe, the Houston Chronicle, India Abroad, among others.


Samantha Rui Xue Chang is the Manager of Operations at The Asian American Education Project. Samantha is a 1.5/2.5 generation (depending who you ask) Asian American based in the Bay Area. Samantha is currently a 4th grade educator and enjoys reading, rituals, and rest. She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology with minors in English and Education, and a Masters of Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

According to family legend, Samantha’s paternal great-grandfather came to America in the 1800s to work on the railroads, eventually leading to the rest of her family immigrating in the 1970s. This story, like a few others, has gone through many iterations and it is unclear where the truth ends and fable begins. According to her great-grandfather's headstone, he was born in the late 1800s, so it is clear that the filters of memory may have seeped into her family’s American origin story. Nonetheless, her family history has led to four generations that still come together to share stories.


Andy Urban is an Associate Professor of American Studies and History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. His research, scholarship, teaching, and public humanities work focus on labor, migration, and public memory. Andy’s current book project explores the history of Seabrook Farms, an agribusiness in southern New Jersey that recruited and employed incarcerated Japanese Americans, guestworkers from the British West Indies, migrant farmworkers from the US South, European Displaced Persons, and stateless Japanese Peruvians during the 1940s and 1950s. Seabrook Farms is also the subject of an online exhibition hosted by the New Jersey Digital Highway, which Andy curated with Rutgers’ students, and he is currently working with the Seabrook Educational and Cultural Center to bring the company’s history to new audiences. Andy’s first book, Brokering Servitude: Migration and the Politics of Domestic Labor during the Long Nineteenth Century (NYU Press, 2018), examines how federal immigration policies, commercial agents, and reformers shaped labor markets for domestic service in the nineteenth and early-twentieth century United States. Since 2021, Andy has directed the New Brunswick / North Brunswick High Schools Public Memory Project, a collaboration between community stakeholders, scholars, students, and artists, focused on the creation of public programming, art, and dialogue exploring histories of school integration and segregation. This project coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the withdrawal of approximately 700 white students from New Brunswick High School in 1974, and their matriculation at the newly finished, nearly all-white high school in North Brunswick.


Dr. Sadaf Jaffer is a transformative leader with 15+ years of public engagement, higher education, and government expertise. She is dedicated to public service with a focus on mobilizing diverse stakeholders to address the needs of women, minorities, and economically under-resourced communities.

An Assemblywoman representing New Jersey's 16th Legislative District, Jaffer advocates for the best interests of NJ's 9.2 million residents with special attention to her district’s 230,000 constituents. She has championed increased funding for 9-1-1 call centers, teen suicide prevention programming, and translation services. Her legislative accomplishments include the New Jersey Child Tax Credit, laws on election integrity, transportation, reproductive healthcare, and gun safety. She bolstered representation for women and minorities in politics as the first Asian American woman (with Ellen Park and Shama Haider) and the first Muslim American (with Shama Haider) to serve in the New Jersey Legislature.

Jaffer is a researcher and lecturer at Princeton University where she teaches courses on South Asian, Islamic, and Asian American Studies. Her research focuses on secular and feminist thought in Muslim contexts. She explores the breadth of modern Muslim societies by focusing on the arts, literature, and popular culture. She has published in the Journal of Women’s History, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Huffington Post, Altmuslimah, and American Kahani.

Prior to joining the NJ legislature, Jaffer served two terms as mayor of Montgomery Township. In January of 2019, she shattered glass ceilings as the first South Asian American woman to serve as mayor in NJ and the first Muslim woman mayor of a municipality in the US. Her signature initiatives included creating and implementing a crisis communications plan to help Montgomery maintain some of the lowest COVID-19 infection and fatality rates in the state, leading the design and construction of a new municipal center and library, building trust and understanding by coordinating meetings for Black community members with the Township’s police leadership, and inaugurating a Youth Leadership Council.

Jaffer serves on numerous boards and commissions including for the NJ Council for the Humanities, Oxfam America, and the Princeton University Art Museum. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and obtained her PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University with a secondary field in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality.


Dr. Rosetta Treece has been an educator for 20 years. During her time in public school education, she has served as a high school English Teacher, Vice Principal, Principal, and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Treece is the Superintendent of Schools for Hopewell Valley Regional School District. Dr. Treece graduated Magna Cum Laude from the College of New Jersey earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Secondary Education. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Administration and earned her Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Rowan University. Her doctoral thesis was on how to promote emotional intelligence in adolescents. Dr. Treece is an Advanced Nurtured Heart Trainer and a Peer Leader. She is an Attitudes in Reverse (A.I.R.) therapy dog handler and a mental health champion. She is committed to preparing teachers, support staff, and school leaders to create learning environments that are culturally responsive and that cultivate resiliency in young adults.


Nathalie Edmond, PsyD, RYT-500 is a licensed clinical psychologist, experienced yoga teacher, JEDI practitioner, owner of a group practice and former behavioral health administrator. She worked at the counseling center at Princeton University and has recently become the director of counseling at Villanova University. She teaches graduate classes on multiculturalism and feminism. She takes a trauma informed and integrated perspective to her consultations and trainings blending mindfulness, didactic, multimedia clips and conversation. Her general approach to trainings related to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice is grounded in the idea that we have to build comfort within ourselves as racial beings to be able to talk with others about being racial beings or make meaningful changes in our communities. That would translate to recognizing our positionality in relationship to privilege and power along many different identities from a place of compassion and accountability.


Gabriel A. Tanglao has been an educator at heart, activist in spirit, and organizer in practice. Having experienced life as a Filipino-American in the modern diaspora, Gabriel consciously represents his pre-colonial Kapampangan roots. Honoring his family and ancestors, Gabriel has served public educators across New Jersey building a movement for justice-centered unions and liberatory education. Gabriel will begin his new role serving over two million educator-unionists across the country with the NEA Center for Racial and Social Justice.


Sundjata (Sund-Jata) Sekou (Say-Coo) is a third grade Black male educator at Mount Vernon Avenue Elementary School in Irvington, New Jersey. He wants you to know that he loves his students, the urban community where he teaches, the struggles, triumphs, the parents, the “ups and downs.” He also loves the students who are born in this country, the immigrants, the Haitian Creole speakers, the Spanish speakers, Jamaican Patwa speakers, Asian and Pacific Islanders, students with IEPs, students who are very difficult in his classroom, and anyone else that he missed. The reason he loves them is because “they are him and he is them.”


Denyse Leslie began her career in general management consulting at Towers Perrin, focusing on strategic planning with publishing and education clients. She kicked the tires and recommended changes that left clients well-positioned for growth. She's led internal consulting efforts at a Fortune 10 bank and Educational Testing Service, where she successfully developed the strategy that resulted in ETS's profitable return to K12 testing. Denyse has also served as DiversityInc's Senior Vice President, Consulting and helped clients implement metrics-based strategies that achieved diversity gains.

Denyse has pursued opportunities to get important stories told. She serves as Board Vice President and Managing Director of the Paul Robeson House of Princeton. This non-profit is renovating the birthplace of Paul Robeson, located at 110 Witherspoon Street, and developing educational programs worthy of Robeson's legacy of activism and social justice. Making Robeson a Household Name is the mantra. She also serves on the Board of CASA of Burlington and Mercer County, which advocates for the safety and education of children in foster care.

Denyse facilitates the Black Voices Book Group, now resident and partnered with the Princeton Public Library. She enjoys the opportunity to monthly read, discuss, and engage with great books that narrate the history and culture, and hopes and aspirations of African Americans and the Diaspora.

Denyse grew up in Brooklyn, NY. She is a member of the charter class of Yale University's School of Organization and Management, where she graduated with an MBA. Denyse graduated from Middlebury College cum laude with Highest Honors for thesis work. She has a son, Christopher Jonathan Leslie, and a granddaughter, Auriana Michelle Leslie. Her 96-year-old mother, Melanie Evelyn, a retired NYC Public Schools K-2 educator, lives nearby in Bucks County, PA.


Shirley Satterfield, a retired Princeton High School guidance counselor and local historian, was raised in Princeton, representing the sixth generation of her family to live in the community. Satterfield experienced Princeton’s racial evolution firsthand, attending the Witherspoon School for Colored Children when segregation was still the official and explicit policy in Princeton Public Schools. Prior to teaching and serving as a school counselor at Princeton High School, Satterfield worked in East Windsor. While at Princeton High School, she founded the historic high school female leadership group, P.U.L.S.E, which stands for Pride, Unity, Leadership, Sisterhood, and Esteem and works to further understanding about and respect for individuals, regardless of their ethnicity, race, or gender. She led the fight to have her neighborhood –now known as Witherspoon-Jackson—declared as Princeton’s 20th historic district. She serves as president of the Board of Trustees of Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society, which is dedicated to researching, preserving, understanding, and celebrating the history of African-Americans in Princeton. Under her leadership, 26 plaques are being placed around the neighborhood’s Heritage Trail. She also established the Albert E. Hinds Memorial Walking Tour, which seeks further to expand awareness of Princeton’s African-American history and honors the late Princeton history enthusiast and social justice, community, and civil rights activist


Laura Zhang Choi is passionate about the work at the intersections of faith and justice, educational equity, and community organizing. She is a member of the school board of Greenwich Township School District in Warren County, NJ; on the leadership team of API Rainbow Parents of PFLAG NYC/NJ; the Director of Christian Education at Stewartsville Presbyterian Church; and a homebound instructor for NJ students recovering from mental health crises. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, Laura is currently completing her Master of Divinity at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and is under care for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Her proudest title will always be Mama.


Dr. Joy Barnes-Johnson addresses science teacher preparation, policy, curriculum design, adult/community growth and equity in her work and research. She has taught in China, Jamaica, and throughout the United States. She enjoys working as a dissertation coach and volunteer with various education outreach programs including The CHOOSE project, the Lost Souls public memorial project, the Trenton Branch of the NAACP (ACTSO), and The Paul Robeson House of Princeton where she is program committee chair. She is currently writing a book framing the role of Black educators and their allies working to pass on a heritage of joy. Archival research and contemporary storytelling will be woven together with the rationality of African proverbs in celebration of the leadership of teachers. Her favorite things to do in her spare time include reading, frolicking with family, and imagining new ways to see chemistry in everyday life.


Mr. Anthony Jones is a dynamic educator, scholar, and mentor, who has excelled in various educational endeavors. Currently, Anthony is the Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, which serves over 9,000 students. Anthony’s work includes developing workshops and initiatives centered around anti-racism, history of African Americans in education and cultural competency. Anthony is also an instructor at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Honors College, teaching a cross cultural competency course which focuses on identity, belonging and inclusion. Moreover, Anthony has taught classes at Union County College and worked for Princeton University, reading applications for the freshman class of 2019.

Anthony has also served as Program Director of College Access at Rutgers University-Camden and Columbia University as an Academic Counselor. Anthony holds both a B.A. in English and a master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Rutgers University. He is currently pursuing his Doctoral degree at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Graduate School of Education.

He and his wife Nicole enjoy spending time with their three children, Noah, Ariana, and Anthony. Anthony enjoys reading and still dreams about becoming a high school basketball coach.


Special thanks to our planning committee: Dr. Judy Yu, Dr. Rosetta Treece, Dr. Kimberly Tew, Dr. Cindy Assini, Jenny Graf, Sue Totaro, Michael Figueiredo, Glenn Peano, Anthony Jones, Dr. Chrissi Miles, Dawn Howlen, Lizandaa Alburg, Dr. Nathalie Edmond, Joyce Trotman-Jordan, Denyse Leslie, Dr. Joy Barnes-Johnson, Leonie Houndode, Shirley Satterfield, Victoria Yu, Dr. Ying Lu, Sima Kumar, Dr. Kani Ilangovan and Nancy Lin.

We are reserving tickets for K-12 teachers, curriculum supervisors and K-12 educators and administrators.

Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions.

  • The E Pluribus Unum Project
  • NJEA Consortium
  • Paul Robeson House of Princeton
  • Not In Our Town Princeton
  • Witherspoon Jackson Cultural and Historical Society
The E Pluribus Unum Project
Event Type
Faculty Speaking Engagement
Event Category
AAS Recommended Event


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Any individual, including visitors to campus, who requires accommodation should contact Dionne Worthy ([email protected]) at least one week in advance of the event.