Fourth Ward Councilwoman Dr. Renee Baskerville says what has happened since her December 30th meeting is amazing in terms of the groups and numbers of people who are stepping up and heeding “the call to action” with which she closed the meeting:
“I welcome you all to, and encourage you to, join me in redoubling our efforts to be ambassadors and exemplars of good will all year around; and to enhance our collective work and collaborative walk, to let everyone in our township understand that they are vital part of the whole.”
Dr. Baskerville describes how she had initially planned for the meeting.
“After receiving many messages on Facebook, via text email, and phone messages from people all over the town expressing their concerns about recent actions of hate in the township and after listening for months to reports about others in our township feeling as though they are no longer valued, I decided, in preparation for my regularly scheduled end of the year meeting, that I would send a personal invitation to our faith leaders and request that they come to the meeting. This was especially because, in years past, when folks in this community had concerns en masse, we worked collaboratively with our faith leaders of all religions, with the NAACP and others of our civil rights, civil liberties, and social justice associations, and others to collectively educate ourselves and the Community, and to resolve issues as One Montclair.”
“Although the December 30th meeting went in a direction that was unforeseen,” says Dr. Baskerville. “After reading the follow up from Dean Harris, the Montclair NAACP President Albert Pelham, and now this joint statement from our local faith leaders, I am ever so GRATEFUL that I hosted such an important meeting. I am grateful for and proud of our faith leaders for being among the first organized community based leadership group to heed my CALL TO ACTION!”
Baskerville says she looks forward to “continuing work with the faith community and all people of goodwill. I thank Pastor Campbell for the call that she put out, at my request, to our faith leaders, and thank you all for your support.”