Letter to the Editor of the Montclair Local
As I have witnessed historic anti-racism protests and energy unfold over the last few weeks, I have been reflecting about how to improve the lives of our Black and brown children in Montclair.
Although no one wants to acknowledge it, we are a town of haves and have-nots. Just this month, the Montclair Local reported that, in the state of New Jersey, white families have a median net worth of $309,900, while Latino and Black families have a median net worth of $7,020 and $5,900 respectively. The numbers may be different in Montclair, but racism has insured that people of color make up a disproportionate percentage of the have-nots in our town.
The Montclair Scholarship Fund is a nonprofit organization that has been awarding scholarships to college-bound seniors at Montclair High School with financial need for more than 60 years. The price of college is astronomical for everyone, but when you look at the wealth gap in New Jersey, the economic devastation on Black and Brown families trying to send students to college is even more crushing. The Montclair Scholarship Fund makes awards based on financial need, not race, but our applicant group makes the racial dimension of our income inequality apparent.
This year when you think about how you can impact the lives of Black and brown Montclair children, I hope that you consider donating to the Montclair Scholarship Fund at montclairscholarshipfund.org . No amount is too small. So many of us are saying, in person and on social media, that we care about the future of Black lives. Let’s show that we do and lift up our own students in need.
For so long, American society has not only allowed the killing of Black people, but has also allowed the killing of Black hope. I am daring to hope that action, and the true desire for change, are on the rise in our town. I know that Montclair can do better.
LEETA JORDAN Montclair