Annual Welcoming Week Includes Several Events, Naturalization Ceremony
By Anne Levin
With President Trump’s recent announcement ordering the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Princeton’s second annual Welcoming Week could hardly be celebrated at a more appropriate time. Starting this Friday, the town’s Human Services Department is collaborating with Princeton Public Library, the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, The Historical Society of Princeton, and other community partners on this series of events designed to promote contributions made by those who come from other places.
A highlight of the week is a naturalization ceremony that will be held Sunday, September 17 at the library. Mayor Liz Lempert will swear in immigrants taking the Oath of Allegiance. “We have people here from all over the world,” she said on Monday. “The school district reports that there are over 50 different languages spoken in the homes of students. We pride ourselves on our diversity, and Welcoming Week is a chance to affirm the values of our community.”
Princeton’s Welcoming Week is one of more than 80 similar events being held throughout the country, sponsored by the national organization Welcoming America.
The events begin Friday, September 15 at 6:30 p.m. with One Table Cafe at Trinity Church, 33 Mercer Street. Sol Lurie, 87-year-old Holocaust survivor, will share his story of what hate and discrimination did and, unfortunately, still do. Mr. Lurie’s mission is “to love and not to hate,” and he continues his work in that direction. RSVP to (609) 216-7770.
On Saturday, September 16 at 10 a.m., meet at Hinds Plaza for historian Shirley Satterfield’s tour of the historic Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood. The Albert E. Hinds Memorial Walking Tour: African American Life in Princeton gives the history of the area below Nassau Street. Ms. Satterfield will talk about the “Princeton Plan” that desegregated schools at the site of the Witherspoon Street School for Colored Children; the life of Paul Robeson at his birthplace; and visit Birch Avenue, where many houses were moved when the construction of Palmer Square displaced the black neighborhood across from Princeton University. To register, call (609) 688-2055.
Saturday, September 16 at 10 a.m., Princeton University’s stadium hosts Community and Staff Day, including a home football game and family events such as a youth sports clinic with University athletes, crafts, entertainment, and an information fair. Free.
In addition to the Naturalization Ceremony on Sunday, September 17, events include the showing of the film “Swim Team” at Princeton Garden Theatre on Sunday at 4 p.m. The film is about a team made up of a diverse group of teens on the autism spectrum. Also at the Garden, on Monday, September 18 at 7:30 p.m., the film “8 Borders, 8 Days” will be screened.
An “Accessing the Arts Open House” at McCarter Theatre is Monday, September 18 from 7-8:30 p.m. Members of the theater’s staff and multilingual community hosting partners from Berlitz Princeton Language Center will lead tours of the facilities and discuss special performances and events coming up this season. A teaching artist from McCarter’s After School program will lead children in theatrical play and interactive experiences. Refreshments from The Gingered Peach will be provided.
Thursday, September 21 from 6-8 p.m. is Cultural Exchange Night, where individuals and families from different countries come together to feature displays and “show and tell” their cultures and nationalities. The idea is to celebrate the mix of countries, traditions, and ethnic backgrounds within the community.
A public talk by Larissa Snorek-Yates is the final event of Welcoming Week, on Sunday, September 24 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. at First Church of Christ Scientist, 16 Bayard Lane. “The Healing Power of Stillness” is the title of the talk, which offers guidance about finding stillness in life and being at peace. Ms. Snorek-Yates speaks all over the world about peace and healing.
All week long, Princeton Senior Resource Center holds an open house. One free class is provided with a voucher.
For more information on all events, visit the Human Services Department’s website at princetonnj.gov