Week of March 21, 2021

1) March IGSV Group Meeting: Our March group meeting will be this Saturday, March 27, from 3-4:30 pm, via Zoom. We are thrilled to welcome IGSV member Dr. Jamie Pietruska, Rutgers professor and Clinton Township resident, as our speaker. She will speak on

Unprecedented?: Our Present Moment in Historical Perspective 

As we are living through the deadliest global pandemic in a century, a climate crisis of planetary scope, and the continued erosion of American democracy, it can seem as though we are in a period of unprecedented crisis and uncertainty. Yet history tells us that the United States has been through periods of great crisis and uncertainty before—some of which have led to transformational political and social change. In this lecture/discussion, we will consider how the beginning of the Biden administration, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the fight for environmental and climate justice fit into longer historical trajectories and how thinking about the past can help us better understand—and change—our present.

Jamie Pietruska is associate professor of history at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, where she specializes in 19th- and 20th-century U.S. culture, science, and technology. For more on her scholarly work and recent op-eds, please visit https://jamiepietruska.org/

Please RSVP by email to indivisiblegsv@gmail.com to get the Zoom link.

2) Support Asian Americans: The murders in Atlanta of eight people, including 6 women of Asian descent, is the latest, starkest example of the increased attacks on Asian Americans since last spring. Please dedicate part of your week learning (or reminding yourself) about the long history of anti-Asian racism in this country. Here’s a starting place: https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2021/03/18/history-anti-asian-violence-racism/. If you would like to donate to organizations that support Asian communities, you can look at a summary of places to support here: https://nymag.com/strategist/article/where-to-donate-to-help-asian-communities-2021.html.

3) Be Safe: The COVID numbers are creeping back up in Hunterdon County and across New Jersey. Please keep taking precautions to limit the spread of COVID. Increasing in-seat time at school for our students depends on the numbers coming back down again. You can track the data here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/hunterdon-new-jersey-covid-cases.html.

4) Hold Russia Accountable: This week, the Intelligence Community released a report indicating that once again, Russia attempted in 2020 to swing the Presidential election to Trump. Contact all three of our Members of Congress to let them know that we must hold Russia and other countries that tried to interfere accountable, and that we must decrease our citizens’ susceptibility to foreign disinformation campaigns. You can read more here: https://www.npr.org/2021/03/16/977958302/intelligence-report-russia-tried-to-help-trump-in-2020-election.

Quote of the week: “I’ll never forget the feeling when I learned that my own government questioned my loyalty. Before Congress I worked in diplomacy at StateDept. I once received a letter banning me from working on Korea issues just because of my last name. I was stunned.” – Rep. Andy Kim in a Twitter thread about the anti-Asian-American bias he experienced in the State Department, https://twitter.com/AndyKimNJ/status/1373282035633119233