January 4, 2017

Nine Named to Civil Rights Commission

Mayor Liz Lempert has named nine appointees to Princeton’s new Civil Rights Commission, which is designed to provide informal conflict resolution and mediation. Princeton Council is expected to approve the list at its annual reorganization meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, January 4.

Members come from different sectors of the community, including four affiliated with Princeton University. “I’m excited about the launch of this important commission, and I’m especially thrilled with the diversity of residents who have volunteered to serve, and the expertise they bring to the table,” Ms. Lempert wrote in an email on Tuesday.

Appointees are Donna Tatro, a member of Not in Our Town who serves on the LGBT Employee Resource Group and the University’s Transgender Advisory Committee; Susan Fiske, a Princeton University professor and expert on bias, stereotypes and discrimination; David Campbell, a clinical psychologist with Princeton University Health Services, co-chair of its Diversity and Inclusion Implementation Advisory Council, and member of Campus Life Diversity and Inclusion Committee; and Leticia Fraga, who chairs the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Also: Karen Hernandez-Granzen, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Trenton; Kiki Jamison, president of The Fund for New Jersey and previous president of the Princeton Public Library Board; Tommy Parker, a Princeton native and former chair of the previous Civil Rights Commission, co-chair and founding member of the Association of Black and Latino Employees at Princeton University, and Campus Ambassador on the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Community; Afsheen Shamsi, public relations director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and former Princeton Public Schools board member; and Molly Chrein, public interest attorney and former Princeton Public Schools board member.

Princeton’s former Civil Rights Commission was in place from 1968 to 1998. A subcommittee of the town’s Human Services department worked on the
re-establishment of the commission for two years before introducing an ordinance last October. Prior to a vote being taken, there was considerable discussion among Council and members of the subcommittee about policies and procedures.

Councilman Lance Liverman served on the original board. Commenting on the fact that four of the nine members of the new commission have ties to the University, he said, “It just happened to work out this way. It wasn’t that we went and looked for University people. These are the people who have an interest in serving and the expertise to do it.”

Mr. Liverman called the list of appointees “terrific. This is an avenue for the regular Joe to report any kind of discomfort or poor treatment because of their ethnicity or sexual orientation or whatever. I’m looking forward to it. What is also great is the fact that they can do education programs, which are badly needed. Folks need to know how to respond to others in these situations. In this new Trump environment, you can kind of lose that.”