BHDC Summer 2021 News
The Berkeley Heights Diversity Council has been busy engaging in our community and there's more planned. We hope you're (like us!) busy enjoying your summer! Watch for more updates from the BHDC in September. For now, please enjoy these highlights of some of what the BHDC has been up to in Berkeley Heights as well as some community diversity-related news:
Summaries of Current & Recent Events:
Reflect on the "March for Black Lives" - one year later.
BHDC is on Instagram! Follow us @BHDiversity
Celebrating Pride with the BH YMCA - Friday, June 11
CMS Diversity Festival - BHDC participated in BH School District event on Friday, May 21
Community Events - Coming Soon:
BHPD Coffee With a Cop - Tues, Aug 3 on Holly Glen Lane!
BHPD Annie Young Academy - Fall 2021
Community Diversity News:
Local GL Student wins NJ Coalition for Inclusive Education poster contest
BH Police arrest and charge an individual with bias, intimidation and harassment
We are working towards helping make Berkeley Heights the most open and welcoming community in New Jersey. Join us! Please spread the word, forward this email and please participate in BHDC and community events. Please let us know if you'd like to be more actively involved - we are always looking for volunteers to help out! Email BHDC at email@example.com
If this was forwarded to you, please SIGN UP to make sure you don't miss out on future BHDC news and events.
Berkeley Heights March for Black Lives - Let's Reflect Together
One year ago, on Sunday, June 7, thousands came together in Berkeley Heights in unity and solidarity - ‘Berkeley Heights March for Black Lives”. It was a peaceful day marking a “movement not a moment”. Community members of all backgrounds marched, gathered, shared their stories, and peacefully rallied for change. And, we were silent. Together. For 8 minutes and 46 seconds in memory of and solidarity with George Floyd, his family, and his suffering. It's a year later. What has changed? The BHDC is asking residents to reflect on the year that’s gone by and how it impacted you and our Berkeley Heights Community. Please reflect on the following:
What is the one memory of the day that stands out the most for you?
How did the BH March for Black Lives impact you?
How have you seen the BH community change since the March for Black Lives?
What should we be doing as a Community to make change sustainable?
Please send us an email with your thoughts - written or can be as a video - to firstname.lastname@example.org. The BHDC will compile what’s shared into a video that we will share with the community.
Berkeley Heights Diversity Council on Instagram!
We just made the "big move" to join you all on Instagram, so we're hoping you'll FOLLOW US to stay connected with all the Berkeley Heights Diversity Council is doing in our community. As you can see, we're just getting started, so make sure to add yourself to our list of followers!
Celebrating Pride - June 11th
The Berkeley Heights YMCA again partnered with BHDC and the Governor Livingston SAGA Club and threw an awesome PRIDE event on June 11 at Lower Columbia Park. Read all about it - it was a great event! The pavilion was crowded with students, parents and so many community members. "The Pride event originated four years ago and to see the growth and knowing kids now feel like they can have a safe space to celebrate who they are with no judgement -- I think it's amazing, said Toiya Facey, Berkeley Heights Diversity Council Executive Member. "This is one of my favorite events. It probably is the one that I always get choked up thinking about it." She explained that at the very first event a mom came to personally thank the group for having the event. A few shots from the event - see them all in the full coverage by TAPinto BH.
Columbia Middle School Diversity Festival - May 21
On Friday, May 21, the Berkeley Heights School District hosted its first Diversity Festival at Columbia Middle School. The BHDC partnered with the schools and participated in the event. It was an outdoor, school-wide event for students only this year. We hope they work to make it a community-wide event in the future - as the event was...
“We are so thrilled to be hosting our first Diversity Festival at CMS this year," said Grace Acosta, Assistant Principal of CMS. "It is such an important event and truly brought together our students. The represented groups were identified through a survey that was sent to parents who then shared that they would like to showcase their ethnicities and/or cultures at the event. The Neurodiversity, Interracial, and Prism groups were also identified and then recognized through the CMS Diversity Committee via a student survey. We look forward to expanding the number of countries and cultures represented at the festival in years to come.”
Berkeley Heights Police - Coffee with a Cop - Aug, 3
The Berkeley Heights Police Community Policing Unit are hosting another Coffee with a Cop on Tuesday, August 3 from 10 - 11am on Holly Glen Lane. Don't miss this great opportunity to meet and get to know members of our Berkeley Heights Police Department!
Berkeley Heights Police Launches "Annie Young Academy" - Fall 2021
The Berkeley Heights Police Department recently announced the launch of the "Annie Young Academy", a program aimed at educating Berkeley Heights residents about police operations.
The BHDC encourages you to participate alongside us as many of our Executive Board members are planning to attend the program. We will let you know when registration opens up. We are looking forward to this inside view into the inner workings of the BHPD. The program will demonstrate how deescalation, unarmed tactics, practical training scenarios, use of body cameras and vehicular stops are used.
"The Berkeley Heights Police Department is honored to be able to launch this program for Berkeley Heights residents in Annie Young's name," said BHPD Chief Jason Massimino. "We are aiming to enhance our relationship with the community we serve by shining a light into the operations of the police department and enhancing transparency to how we operate within this great community."
Full details about the program are available in TAPinto Berkeley Heights.
GL Student wins NJCIE Poster Contest
Congratulations to Alyssa Zichichi from Governor Livingston High School who recently won a poster contest run by the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education. We love the message in her poster, “It welcomes students of all abilities through its messaging and representations of various identities and communities. Her portrayal of inclusion during a pandemic shows that all of us can still continue to be inclusive no matter what the circumstances are.” Read all about the contest!
BH Police Arrest and Charge Individual with Bias, Intimidation and Harrassment
On July 18, Berkeley Heights Police Detectives arrested and charged an individual with bias intimidation and harassment. The charges were the result of an incident where an individual used racial slurs. The incident occurred in Columbia Park and was partially captured on cell phone video. The suspect was released pending a mandatory court appearance in the Union County Superior Court. Please reference Berkeley Heights Police social media pages and TAPinto Berkeley Heights for more complete and additional information. The Berkeley Heights Diversity Council firmly believes that we must come together as a community to stand against bias. The use of racial slurs is never appropriate in any situation and unfortunately demonstrate the need to take measurable steps to address bias in our community. It will always be our strong desire to help make Berkeley Heights the most open and welcoming community in New Jersey - so we actively encourage ALL to spread LOVE, ACCEPTANCE and KINDNESS everywhere - so everyone feels welcome and accepted.