May 20, 2015

Redefy and Other Groups Assert That Princeton Does Not Tolerate Intolerance

To the Editor:

Recent events have brought to light the unfortunate, prevalent, and detrimental racism that exists in our country. It is often easy to feel detached from the incidents in Ferguson, New York, and Baltimore, but the Urban Congo performance (when Princeton University athletes mocked African culture) demonstrated there is so much work to be done within our own town as well.

Groups such as Not in Our Town, on which I serve as the first youth board member, are actively fighting against racism in Princeton. Not in Our Town’s goal is “that Princeton will grow as a town where everyone is safe and respected.” I have been truly inspired by the activism of my fellow board members as they advocate for justice, equality, and peace.

Redefy, the teen organization that I have founded to defy stereotypes and promote acceptance, was fortunate to work with Not in Our Town at its booth at Communiversity and in a social media campaign. Along with Princeton CHOOSE (the Princeton High School group formed to fight racism) and Not in Our Town, Redefy campaigned with the hashtag #PrincetonAgainstRacism to assert that our town will not tolerate intolerance.

Redefy took more than 100 portraits as a part of our #PrincetonAgainstRacism initiative, which demonstrate Princeton citizens’ commitment to equality. At the Not in Our Town booth, countless positive conversations could be heard about social justice. The atmosphere was truly one of activism. People of all ages were engaging in meaningful discussions.

I am so incredibly thankful to Not in Our Town, my Redefy team members, and the population of Princeton.

Ziad Ahmed

Princeton Day School Student, Derwent Drive