Dunworkin Club

Dear Dunworkin Members,

If you know of any members that may be ill or having other difficulties, please notify the Executive Committee at dunworkin1934@gmail.com.

In the interest of keeping our members and community as safe as possible, we have updated the Dunworkin Meeting Schedule and introduced video conferencing until further notice.

Updated 11/29/2021

HOLIDAY LUNCHEON at the Montclair Golf Club. Socializing from 11:30 to 12:30, lunch from 12:30. December 3,2021

January 14, 2022 VIDEO CONFERENCE Buddy Evans, President and CEO of the Montclair YMCA.

The Dunworkin Club was founded in 1934 to foster good fellowship and communication among retired and semiretired residents of Montclair and nearby communities.

The club meets on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month at the Upper Montclair Presbyterian Church located at 53 Norwood Avenue, Upper Montclair. There is informal Socializing beginning at 10:30 followed by a presentation from an invited speaker at 11:00. The topics vary from meeting to meeting. Attendees pay for lunch prior to the presentation. Lunch and additional informal socializing begin at noon.

2022 Schedule

1/14/22 VIDEO CONFERENCE Buddy Evans, President and CEO of the Montclair YMCA.

1/28/22 VIDEO CONFERENCE Wendy McNeil, and another staff member of NJ Public Radio.

2/11/22 VIDEO CONFERENCE Kathleen Carroll, Chairman of the Board of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

2/25/22 TBD

3/11/22 TBD

3/25/22 TBD

4/8/22 TBD 

4/22/22 Spring Luncheon

5/13/22 TBD

5/27/22 Luncheon, putting is optional.

7/8/22 Summer Luncheon

9/9/22 TBD

9/23/22 TBD

10/14/22 TBD

10/28/22 TBD

11/11/22 TBD

12/2/22 Holiday Luncheon

2021 Schedule

1/8/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Prof. James Smethurst will be the speaker for our first video conference of the year is Prof. James Smethurst.  He had been commissioned by Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., of Harvard, to present a series of lectures for Spring, 2020, which were suspended because of the virus.  Prof. Gates suggested he condense the series to a single lecture, which Prof. Smethurst has done, and agreed to also present that lecture to the Dunworkin Club.

A proud Montclair New Jersey native, James Smethurst is Interim Chair of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the author of The New Red Negro: The Literary Left and African American Poetry, 1930-1946The Black Arts Movement, The African American Roots of Modernism, and Brick City Vanguard: Amiri Baraka, Black Music, Black Modernity. His book Becoming Black, Becoming Southern: A History of the Black Arts Movement in the South will appear in the spring of 2021.

His topic is Afrofuturism, which describes how Black writers and artists have thought about past, present and the future within the context of current trends and the BLM movement.  He will especially focus on the arc of time from Newark and Detroit, in 1967, to Minneapolis, Louisville, and Philadelphia in 2020.

1/22/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE John Wefing, will discuss people he has met during his Seton Law School career, which includes Supreme Court Justices and Governors.

2/12/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Bob Weisbuch, formerly the director of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Program in Princeton and more recently the President of Drew University, will speak on “Liberty and Learning: Higher Ed’s Higher Purpose.”

2/26/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Annik LaFarge, historian, author, and photographer, her topic is: “Chopin on the High Line.” She is the author of Chasing Chopin: A Musical Journey Across Three Centuries, Four Countries, and a Half-Dozen Revolutions, favorably reviewed in the NY Times Book Review, and the 2012 book On the High Line: Exploring America’s Most Original Park.  She will give an illustrated talk with music clips and photographs. Her presentation answers the question she’s been getting over the past six months, since her new book was published:  How do you go from a 21st century public park built on an old elevated railroad in New York City to a 19th century sonata composed in Europe by Frédéric Chopin? The talk is in part about Chopin and his op. 35 sonata (the one with the famous funeral march) and also an argument for why the High Line is an essentially romantic place, and the artistic spirit that connects them. For a little more information, follow the link: About Chasing Chopin

3/12/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Rev. Frederick A. Davie, Exec. VP,  of Union Theological Seminary, will present to us on some portion of his career which spans the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, the White House Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Public/Private Ventures with the Ford Foundation, programs for the re-entry of formerly incarcerated persons, other social and economic justice organizations. He is a recipient of  Yale Divinity School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for Community Service. Since 2017, he has served as Chair of the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board, which is the nation’s largest oversight agency of a police department, and his topic is  “Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement,” which is a topic of national interest.

3/26/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Candy Cooper, Pulitzer Prize finalist investigative reporter for the Detroit Free Press and the San Francisco Examiner, will speak about her recent book Poisoned Water, the Flint Water crisis and its implications for cities across the US.

4/9/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Karen Pennington is a national leader in the field of Student Development. Recently retired from the position of Vice President at Montclair State, she has served as chair of the National Association of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and is an expert on student affairs law and policy.

A graduate of the University of Scranton with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history,  she  later returned to Scranton as a member of their Board of Trustees. She earned a Master’s in Educational Counseling at Gannon and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration at SUNY Albany.  Having served on six campuses in positions such as dean of students, residence life director and director of college activities, you might say she has seen it all.

As a Fulbright Visiting Scholar Dr. Pennington has helped colleges around the world develop policies and good practices in the area of student affairs. The title of her talk is “College Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, and yesterday was 2019.”

4/23/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Dr. Cecilia A. Conrad, Ph.D, CEO of Lever for Change and a Managing Director at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She will talk to us about innovative approaches to philanthropy, including MacArthur’s Fellows program, its Lever for Change, and its new program on a Stronger Democracy. We have long heard of the MacArthur Grants awarded to exceptionally talented individuals. The 100&Change activity awards a $100 million grant for a proposal promising real measurable progress in solving a critical problem, and the Lever for Change unlocks philanthropical capital to accelerate global social change.

She is emerita professor of economics at Pomona College where she held positions as the Stedman Sumner Chair in Economics and as VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College. She received the National Urban League’s Women of Power Award in 2008 and the National Economic Association’s Samuel Z. Westerfield award in 2018. She received her BA degree from Wellesley College and her PhD in economics from Stanford University.

5/14/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Marc Favata, Montclair State University scientist on LIGO Gravitational Wave Detections and their significance. Scientists are still struggling to answer some fundamental questions about the universe.  Gravitational waves are useful in finding answers to some of these questions, and we are fortunate to have access to Marc Favata, an astrophysicist from Montclair State for his first hand explanations.  He is part of an international collaboration studying gravitational waves and how they allow us to observe the universe in a new way. A few years ago he provided an overview of the LIGO gravitational-wave detector, shortly after it had discovered the first handful of gravitational-wave signals from colliding black holes or neutron stars. Since that time, LIGO has reported 50 detections in total. Marc will present a summary of what we have learned from these newest discoveries.

5/28/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Professor Jessica Henry, an author, legal commentator, blogger and social justice advocate. After obtaining her J.D. from N.Y.U. School of Law, Henry served as a public defender in New York City for nearly a decade. Professor Henry is the author of the book, “Smoke But No Fire: Convicting the Innocent of Crimes that Never Happened” (U.C. Press 2020). She has written numerous articles for both academic and mainstream publications. Her research interests include wrongful convictions, severe sentences (including the death penalty and life without parole), and hate crimes. She frequently appears as a commentator on national and local television and radio, and has been widely cited in the mainstream media. In 2015, Henry received the Montclair State University Distinguished Teacher Award for her excellence in teaching. Henry teaches a wide range of classes including Wrongful Convictions, Criminal Law and Procedure, Death Penalty Perspectives, and Hate Crimes.

6/11/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Louis Hochman, Editor in Chief, Montclair Local, will share his experiences in news media and the role they should continue to play. He will address “What it Means to be the Community’s Newsroom.“ He believes community news organizations best serve audiences by embracing values of inclusion, equity, and solutions-focused journalism.

His extensive background includes serving as deputy news editor, and digital editor for the Daily Record, in Morris County, regional editor for Patch.com, supervising reporter at NJ.com, and most recently the deputy digital editor of New Jersey 101.5.  He has overseen a transition from print to digital with a newspaper in Rhode Island and overseen the work that quintupled the digital audience for New Jersey 101.5. He also co-created, filmed and produced an award-winning video and podcast on the subject of heroin that won a “Truth in Media” award from the NJ Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies.

Lou has lectured at area colleges and universities on journalistic ethics, the evolution of digital journalism, and the work required to earn trust in a 24-7 media world.  He has won awards for a wide range of contributions from press associations in New Jersey and nationally, has also developed considerable skill as a photographer, and displays his work at LCHPhoto.com.  When not focused on newsworthy events and photography, he admits to a pre-occupation with the three cats who occupy some of his household.

6/25/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Charles Bagli, has covered the intersection of politics and real estate in the NY metro area for 35 years, first at the New York Observer and then for 22 years at The New York Times.  He has written about the power of the NYC real estate industry on state and local government, Donald J. Trump, the Kushners, corruption in the construction industry, public investment in sports stadiums and arenas, the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, gambling and the debt-fueled real estate boom of the 2000s. Prior to becoming a journalist, he worked as an industrial roofer, a transit bus driver and a furnace tender in a tool plant. He has lived in Montclair with his wife Ellie Gitelman Bagli since 1986

He will put all of this background to work in reviewing the impact of the pandemic on real estate in the NY Metro area—office towers, retail/malls, and housing, and discuss where it was, and where it’s heading.

7/16/21 Summer Lunch at Montclair Golf Club

7/23/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Prof. Emerita Lillie Edwards is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Oberlin College where she received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002 and currently serves on the Oberlin Board of Trustees. She received her doctorate in history from the University of Chicago, and for 23 years served as the founding Director of Pan-African Studies and Director of American Studies at Drew University. While there she received two teaching awards, and her retirement opened a path to becoming a member of the Dunworkin Club.

As a public historian committed to social justice, Dr. Edwards has lectured for the National Jewish Museum, Apple, the League of Women Voters, the Montclair Adult School, and the Montclair History Center and she has served as a consultant for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, public schools, and other organizations. She is chair of the church council at The Mark Montclair.

She will discuss the role of Black women in the civil rights movement, including the three who co-founded the Black Lives Matter Movement. They inherited a legacy of Black women’s civil rights organizing and activism that began with the abolitionist movement and continued when Black women created the first civil rights organization in 1896. Rosa Parks organized to defend Black women rape victims in 1944, Fannie Lou Hamer challenged the Democratic Party in 1964.

8/13/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Jay Seldin, describes himself as teacher, photographer, adventurer, author, and world citizen.  We are all familiar with the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words” and I would venture that Jay is going to make a case for a ratio even higher than that.  He admits to a bachelor’s degree in art and psychology, and a master’s degree in visual art and photography, but demeans that preparation compared to his real-life experiences.  His extensive travels have been to numerous countries in all of the major continents, and, in his words, “I use photography as a means for personal self-expression”.  When the subjects are people, he uses the images to tell the story of the people, their challenges, and their love and hope.  When they are landscapes, he shows the beauty he has found in his travels.

He is an Ambassador of Photography for Canson digital papers, a sponsor, and owns and operates a photo travel workshop, CPE Workshops, LLC.  Here is a chance to learn from a practitioner about how photography can be used to reflect society, and also on occasion to adjust society.

9/10/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Professor Tom Bryant, from the School of Graduate Studies at Rutgers, and other institutions.  From 1998 to 2003, he was Chairman of the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Program in the business school.  He leads the Capstone Project, which oversees entrepreneurial projects for students who are candidates for an MBS degree, for which the letter S, for Science, replaces the A.  His affinity for Science was shaped by his studies at MIT.  His experiences with Capstone put him at the center of new business development, where science, production, marketing, and finance all combine to respond to major economic changes, or develop new products.  These are crucial to economic growth and innovation, and the need for these changes has been accelerated in the wake of the pandemic.

9/24/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Andre’ Weker, Montclair Orchestra. The world of orchestras and classical music is often referred to as “old” and “antiquated”, so Montclair Orchestra founder Andre Weker set out to form a unique program that would bring modern day relevance to an important historical artform. Bringing together music students from the metropolitan region’s premier conservatories as Fellows, to play side-by-side with professional Mentors from some of the world’s greatest orchestras, The Montclair Orchestra has established a unique program that addresses the very real and timely issues of diversity in music, both on stage and on the page, and helps to ensure that today’s students are prepared to be the ambassadors for the orchestra of the next generation. Learn about the complexities of forming a cultural nonprofit, and the struggles to balance the demands of 21st century cultural expectations with the traditions and important repertoire of the past.

In 2016, after two years abroad in London, Andre Weker relocated to Montclair, NJ, where he was inspired to create a grassroots orchestra in the community. Pivoting from a career in environmental business, he founded The Montclair Orchestra, drawing on his Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Boston University College of Fine Arts and his love of the orchestral training programs of his youth. Weker melded his unique talents to bring his vision to life: a pre-professional training program where fellowship students sit side-by side with world class professional musicians. Serving as President of The Montclair Orchestra since its inception, he has grown the organization both financially and musically each season.

A Boston-area native, Weker’s early music training began at the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division on piano and bassoon. He soon found himself a member of both the New England Youth Philharmonic and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra throughout his high school years. He continued performing professionally after his graduation from Boston University, where he was a student of Richard Ranti and Gregg Henegar. Shifting from music to follow his passion for business, Weker decided to pursue a career in environmental remediation. He spent several years honing a broad base of business and financial management skills before returning to his roots in music, this time as an orchestra executive. He currently resides in Montclair with his wife Kristina and their three children.

10/8/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Roosevelt Nesmith. President of the Board of Trustees of HOMECorp, a Montclair-based organization devoted to creating and maintaining affordable housing in Montclair and provides financial counseling to support home ownership. HOMECorp was founded by a group of community volunteers in 1988.

Mr. Nesmith received a BS degree from Fairleigh Dickinson, a JD degree from New York University Law School and spent 12 years as an associate with Patterson, Belknap, Webb, and Tyler, in New York. He was a founder of Haddon Renaissance Adult Medical Day Care Center, in Camden, and Chairman of the Board of St. Michael’s Medical Center, in Newark. In addition to his role with HOMECorp, he leads his own law firm, with emphasis on consumer, employment, and commercial litigation.

He will describe the range of activities for HOMECorp, as well as the challenges that Covid-19 and its economic disruptions have created.

10/22/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Steve Engelberg,founding managing editor of ProPublica, and since 2013, editor-in-chief. ProPublica was designed to produce investigative journalism in the public interest, and was the first online news source to win a Pulitzer Prize for that category.  Mr. Engelberg’s career in journalism includes 18 years with the NY Times, with stints in Washington, DC., Warsaw, Poland, and New York, winning a Pulitzer Prize for work there, as well as a the same prize for work at the Oregonian.  He is also a council member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and co-author of a book entitled “Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War”.

He will review the state of journalism, at a time when the role of traditional newspapers is being challenged by fragmented news sources, much false information, and new distractions from social media sources.

11/5/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Annik LaFarge & David Sharps. Societies survive by adapting to new circumstances.  Our presentation on November 5, will provide evidence of that. Annik LaFarge, who presented to us on February 26, on the High Line and her book on Chopin, will share the presentation with Waterfront Museum President David Sharps in a dramatic example of adaptation. Ms. LaFarge is Board Chair of the floating museum, which is based in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and Mr. Sharps created it from a sunken railroad barge, which served as a home for his family, including two young daughters. In August the Museum launched the Barge Cam, an HD, live-streaming camera which captures all the maritime traffic and wildlife that pass through the busy harbor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFTM_VqQipI. The Waterfront Museum is a traveling auditorium, bringing music, and theater to Brooklyn and communities up the Hudson River. They will share with us examples of how New York City has had to adapt to new patterns of marine trade, and how abandoned barges can be used to enrich the cultural life of a community.

11/19/21 VIDEO CONFERENCE Alan Steinberg will speak about government policies, drawing from a vast array of experiences.  He started with a BA in Political Science at Northwestern, a JD from Wisconsin, and a Master of Law and Taxation from Temple. He credits two leading scholars for his background in foreign policy, and on both sides of the Palestinian/Israeli situation. He began his legal career in the US Navy, as a lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and has practiced law privately and as in-house legal counsel.

He had been Senior Policy Advisor in the NJ Assembly Republican Office, and then served under Gov. Christie Whitman in a variety of capacities, including the Meadowlands Commission, Ethical Studies, and Commerce and Economic Development. From 2005-2010 he served as Regional Administrator for the EPA, in the George W. Bush Administration, overseeing all aspects of the environment at the State and Local levels and as a Consultant with Israel for discussion of their needs.

From 2010-2015 he had acted as a Scholar in Residence at Monmouth University, and is a frequent commentator on NY Channel 9, NJ News 12, and on PolitickerNJ.com.

12/3/21 Holiday Lunch 

Photo credit: 85th Meeting, Robert A. Cumins

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