Institute to Honor Nikole Hannah-Jones and Others at 15th Annual Gala on Nov. 10



Institute to Honor Nikole Hannah-Jones and Others at 15th Annual Gala on Nov. 10

Virtual Event Will be Free and Open to All


NEWARK – The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice will hold its 15th Annual Gala on Tuesday, November 10 at 6 pm. 

The virtual event, which is free and open to all, will be livestreamed on the Institute’s website as well as on Facebook Live @NJISJ, and is themed Community Over Chaos, harkening back to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s admonition that “we are confronted with the fierce urgency of now … this may well be mankind’s last chance to choose between chaos or community.”

“In these extraordinary times of national chaos, it is more important than ever that New Jersey double down on community and democracy,” added Haygood. “At this powerful event, we will celebrate our achievements we have made so far in the pursuit of social and racial justice, and commit to much work ahead.”

At the Gala, the Institute will honor five powerful Black women including Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the groundbreaking New York Times 1619 Project, released last year to commemorate the 400th year anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to Jamestown, Virginia.

“The Institute prides itself on being a truth teller. That’s why Nikole’s work resonates so deeply with us,” said Ryan P. Haygood, President and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. “Nikole urges us to see, really see, America – and ourselves – as we really are. It is only with that clear vision that we can turn the page and erase the lasting stain of slavery on every aspect of modern-day life in America.”

The Institute Gala is produced and edited by DreamLeapers and CatScape Productions.

WHAT: New Jersey Institute for Social Justice 15th Annual (virtual) Gala


WHEN: November 10, 2020 at 6pm ET


  • Ryan Haygood, Esq., Institute President/CEO, Remarks
  • Andrea McChristian, Esq., Institute Director of Law & Policy, Award Presentation
  • Rev. Philip A. Gilmore, St. John Community Baptist Church, Invocation
  • Douglas S. Eakeley, Esq., Institute Chair, Board of Trustees, Welcome Remarks
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones, NYT 1619 Project, Alan V. and Amy Lowenstein Social Justice Award Honoree
  • Marcia Brown, Esq., Vice-Chancellor, Rutgers University-Newark, Community Builder Award Honoree
  • Claudia Curtis, Esq., Chief Employment Counsel, Becton, Dickinson and Company, Corporate Leadership Award Honoree
  • Michellene Davis, Esq., Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, RWJBarnabas Health, Corporate Leadership Award Honoree
  • Shané Harris, President, The Prudential Foundation, Corporate Leadership Award Honoree
  • Mayor Ras Baraka, Remarks and Spoken Word Performance
  • Cass Severe, Newark Anti-Violence Coalition, Remarks
  • Vy Higginsen’s Sing Harlem Choir, Musical Performance

The Institute is grateful to the generous sponsors of this event, including The Prudential Foundation, RWJBarnabas Health, Audible, Lowenstein Sandler, PSEG, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Jackson Lewis PC, NJM Insurance Group, Douglas Eakeley, Esq., Nina M. Wells, Esq., Theodore V. Wells, Esq., John and Marcia Lowenstein, The Fund for New Jersey, MCJ Amelior Foundation, Rutgers University-Newark and McDermott Will & Emery.



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