The New Jersey Council of the Blind’s mission is to strive for the betterment of the blind and visually impaired community. The purpose of this publication is to provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas, opinions and information that concern blind and visually impaired people.
The NJCB Chronicle is also available on Newsline. If you do not have a Newsline subscription, contact Reader Services at the New Jersey Talking Book and Braille Center at (800) 792-8322 to get signed up for a Newsline subscription. Four quarterly newsletters are sent to members free of charge by E-mail. You may obtain the current and back issues of the Chronicle and other information from our web site www.njcounciloftheblind.org. Feel free to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New Jersey Council of the Blind (NJCB) is a 501 (c) 3 corporation. Much appreciated tax-deductible donations may be sent to the Treasurer of NJCB.
The NJCB officers are.
President, Wanda Williford (609) 375-6682.
1st Vice President, Frank Schack – (973) 595-0116
2nd Vice President, Joyce Sowa (732) 596-9675.
Secretary Dan Bausch (201) 874-6728.
Treasurer, Steve Sowa (848) 999-2079 or by mail to PO Box 434, Woodbridge, NJ 07095
President’s Message: United We Stand!
By Wanda Williford
We are living in unprecedented times. Navigating the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with nationwide civil unrest, is very challenging for us all. These crisis’ have shown a glaring spotlight on the best and worst of American society.
Social distance, stay 6 feet apart, wear a mask and wash your hands while humming “Happy Birthday”. We are chanting these CDC tips in our sleep. This sage advice has become the “new normal” along with elbow bumps and virtual hugs. Showing up for those in need has also become the norm. Delivering groceries to the self- isolating neighbor, crafty teens sewing masks for first responders and the countless doctors and nurses risking their lives caring for critical patients. This health crisis has beautifully illustrated our deep compassion for one another. However, until a vaccine or reliable treatment is developed, we must be vigilant in the fight to stay healthy.
Equally important to conquering Covid-19, is the battle for equal justice for all Americans regardless of race. The death of George Floyd has exposed a wound our nation has yet to heal. We should strive to ensure the fair and humane treatment of all Americans. Healing begins when we unite and stand up against racism and prejudice wherever it appears. Moving forward, we must be committed to embracing our collective humanity while simultaneously celebrating differences.
Our July meeting will be conducted via conference call. We will be presenting the Bernard Zuckerman Scholarship to three deserving students. Please join us in celebrating Alice, Jasmine and Marissa. Let us stand and applaud their achievements, support their goals, and encourage their dreams. Be a part of the excitement and positivity. Saturday, July 25th, 2020 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. Call 605-468-8005, passcode 425373.
Our July Quarterly meeting will be held by conference call on Saturday, July 25th, 2020 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM.
Call 605-468-8005, passcode 425373.
Presenting the 2020 ACB/JPMorgan Chase Leadership Fellows
Congratulations to the 2020 ACB/JPMorgan Chase Leadership Fellows award winners! The ACB/JPMorgan Chase Leadership Fellows awards program annually recognizes five ACB members who have demonstrated leadership abilities. This year's award recipients are Regina Brink from Sacramento, CA, Sajja Koirala from Honolulu, HI, Meryl Shecter from Windsor Mill, MD, Koni Sims from Sioux Falls, SD, and Wanda Williford from Trenton, NJ. They will be honored this year during the virtual ACB Conference and Convention and be able to participate in special leadership development sessions. Recipients will also get free access to the 2021 ACB Conference and Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. Learn more by visiting www.acb.org/presenting-2020-jpmc-leadership-fellows.
NJCB is proud to award three candidates will receive Bernard Zuckerman scholarships, this year. All three will be receiving their awards at our July Quarterly Meeting. Here is a bit about all three:
My name is Marissa Nissley, I recently graduated from Eastern Regional High School, and I am honored to be a recipient of a New Jersey Council of the Blind Scholarship. As a person with albinism and severe visual impairment, seemingly mundane tasks such as reading the whiteboard and finding my classes appeared nearly impossible at the start of my academic career. However, I learned throughout my childhood to be independent and advocate for myself so that I could overcome the multitude of social, navigational, and academic challenges my disability presents. During high school, I served as a captain and student attorney of my school’s Mock Trial Team where, this year, we went the farthest in our history by placing third in the state competition. I also was Vice-President of Eastern’s DECA chapter, which is an organization that seeks to prepare students for the business world through role-play competitions and raise money for charities such as Good Grief or the Alicia Rose Foundation through fundraisers. Next year, I will be attending Georgetown University and plan to receive a Bachelor of Arts in economics. I then hope to attend law school and become a corporate lawyer.
Alice Sheinman, I grew up in Queens, NY and moved to New Jersey in my early thirties. I am married and have one son. Over the years, I have worked in hospital administration, having my own chocolate truffle manufacturing business, and teaching culinary arts to special education high school students. Due to hearing loss, I have had to again change careers, and am now attending the Rutgers University Master's in Rehabilitation Counseling Program. I would like to work with people with visual impairments upon graduation.
My name is Jasmine Chu and I am a third-year student at Raritan Valley Community College. I began in the Spring 2019 as a RVCC freshman and I am a Business Administration major. I became passionate about Business in the hopes that this major would open more high paying job opportunities and generally intrigued in the material. I most likely plan to graduate in May of 2022 as I extended my graduation for the purpose of fulfilling course credits. I have Glaucoma and Retinal Vasculitis in both eyes. I was diagnosed with Retinal Vasculitis in October 2014 and then diagnosed with Glaucoma January 2019
NJCB Family, we are a talented group of individuals. We need to put those talents and special skills to good use. We all need to participate and contribute to the success of the NJCB organization. This is a call to action! It is our mission to assemble committees which are important to our continued success. Please consider joining or chairing one of the following:
Bernard Zuckerman Scholarship Program
Let us know which committee you feel would best utilize your skills or you find interesting.
We also want to hear your ideas and suggestions for guest speakers and topics you want to discuss during the quarterly meetings. We strive to conduct meetings that are informative, thought provoking and enjoyable for all who attend. So, please share your ideas big and small. Contact me at email@example.com or call 609-375-6682. I look forward to hearing from you.
Revised by Kenneth Semien Sr.
Preface: All too often, people join organizations without taking advantage of the opportunity to truly become familiar with intricate details of its mission, purpose, and operating practices. This can very well result in a lack of participation and could ultimately result in a decision to forfeit what could have been the ideal vehicle to enhance your life, build great relationships and effectively share personal skills and abilities that can make an enormous difference.
In an effort to encourage you to explore the rich history and meaningful efforts of ACB, the tips below are listed to assist you in making the best of your ACB membership, while connecting with others whose skills and abilities complement yours.
In conclusion, the more you know and the more you become involved, the more you will be prompted to share your personal story of how you have joined a phenomenal organization that is continuing to advance.
Have a great ACB adventure!
Wear NJCB Proud
We are excited to launch our 2020 fundraiser. All proceeds benefit the Bernard Zuckerman Scholarship Fund.
Wear your NJCB proudly on a stylish, super soft, T-shirt displaying the NJCB acronym with the Braille letter beneath. It also boasts the organization name and web address with the NJ state outline hovering in the background.
Shirts can be purchased until July 31, 2020 via this link provided here https://www.customink.com/fundraising/support-the-njcb-scholarship-fund or you can call (609) 201-1923 to place an order.
The NJCB recognizes the importance of higher education. In support of the blind and visually impaired community, we award scholarships to deserving students every year. Our goal is to continue this treasured tradition. Your purchase and/or donation will help us support talented students pursue their dreams.
Hello and Greeting from NJBCA! We hope this newsletter finds everyone healthy and hanging in there. “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will- either by having nothing happen or by having everything happen all at once”- Paulo Coelho
Well, it certainly seems that 2020 has been and will be quite a year for the record books. (It is almost like the world is saying- but wait, there is more!). Just like the rest of you, NJBCA is waiting. And waiting. And waiting…you get the idea. We are waiting for word that we too, may reopen and start enjoying the company of others again. There will be a lot of changes to implement become accustomed to. But one thing is for certain, we will be back. We are not going to let our 110 years of service become a thing of the past because of a little virus, that is for sure. It will be a bit of an uphill climb- our organization has existed solely on the generosity of others to exist. And how do you ask for support or donations from those who are unemployed or who have lost their business? This is new territory for everyone.
We will miss seeing everyone in July for the cancelled picnic. Hopefully soon, we will all be gathering (even if it is a distant gathering) and enjoying life to its fullest.
Remember- Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to learn- Pena Chodron
Mercer County Association of The Blind (MCAB) Chapter’s Quarterly News of NJCB CHRONICLE 06-2020.
Peace and wellbeing to everyone, near and far from members of MCAB.
Because of the Pandemic MCAB has been having virtual meetings through phone conference which has been successful.
The Business Cards for Officers and Board Members along with the Invite Cards for the membership have not been handed out yet due to the Coronavirus.
Vice President Wanda Williford and member Sebastian Warren have researched a T-Shirt outlet and have designed an MCAB Logo T-Shirt for the membership. The cost of the T-Shirts will be $15.00.
I would like to take the opportunity to lists some resources in Mercer County that may be beneficial to the residents.
I would like to include in MCAB’s Chapter News for 6-20 A letter from Mercer County Executive, Brian M. Hughes that he sent to all Mercer County Organizations on COVID-19 and how it affects our community and comments
On the callousness of that killing of an unarmed Black Man, George Floyd in Minneapolis.
June 5, 2020
A letter from County Executive Brian M. Hughes
Dear Mercer County Community,
I take this opportunity at the end of each week to discuss an issue related to COVID-19 and how it affects our community. It was difficult to imagine that something could divert our attention from the virus, but the civic unrest that has swept across America, New Jersey and our local communities in the wake of the despicable deadly arrest of an African American man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, has done so.
The callousness of that killing of an unarmed man in police custody has distressed everyone who has a heart and a soul. It has been on all our minds this week and should remain so until we achieve the racial equality that this nation talks about but has not sought with enough urgency and resolve. We must do better.
Demonstrations over George Floyd’s death and racial injustice have sometimes turned destructive, including here in our capital city last Sunday night. But every so often the worst of times brings out the best in people, and I’m encouraged by the spirit that the vast majority of residents in our community and many others have displayed this week in the midst of overlapping crises. Protests have been mostly peaceful, which is a credit to people who, despite their rightful anger and frustration, have stayed focused: speaking out against all forms of racism and trying to effect change. Protests need to remain peaceful so those voices can be heard. And we all need to listen and learn and try to understand the obstacles that people of color in this nation face every day.
We also need to stay focused on combating the virus that has contributed to the deaths of more than 100,000 Americans including almost 500 Mercer County residents. As more segments of our economy reopen and more activities resume, people are spending more time in public settings. But we cannot afford to take fewer precautions and risk undoing the significant gains we have made fighting COVID-19.
Whether you are peacefully protesting, going to work, or heading out for any other reason, please prioritize safety. Practice social distancing wear a face covering and wash your hands. By doing so you not only are protecting yourself, you are protecting others. And let us support each other and treat each other with the dignity and respect all people deserve.
Brian M. Hughes
Mercer County Executive
Submitted by Mustafaa Shabazz, MCAB President
NJCB is on Facebook. Anyone interested in contributing to the success of this page please send your ideas and posts to our email address at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note all posts must be related to activities relating to your membership with NJCB or its affiliates. The page is https://www.facebook.com/groups/2255314534793147/. Just search for New Jersey Council of the Blind in Facebook.
Please send your annual dues along with the attached membership form to our Treasurer, Steven Sowa. Annual dues for members at large are $10.00.
Saturday October 24th 12 Noon to 4PM Location TBD
NOTE: Disclaimer. The views and opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the New Jersey Council of the Blind officers and/or members. The editor reserves the right to edit articles submitted for both space and content.
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Annual Dues: $10.00 due in July
Make check payable to NJCB and send to:
Treasurer- Steven Sowa
PO Box 434
Woodbridge, NJ 07095