About The Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice (SDARJ)
In the Spring of 2015 a group of Sussex County Delaware people organized a study group to read and discuss The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, a book by Michelle Alexander. The group, founded by Charlotte F. King and Jo Klinge, got the idea from other groups formed around the country to deal with the issue of mass incarceration, and how the American criminal justice system disproportionally targets and punishes African American men.
The book group met every other week beginning in March, 2015 in Lewes, Delaware — with more that 50 people attending each meeting. And with each assigned reading, members of the group became more enlightened and enraged about how mass incarceration had replaced slavery of the 1800’s and post-emancipation Jim Crow laws as a way to continue enslavement of African-Americans today.
Called “The Bible of a social movement,” by the San Francisco Chronicle, The New Jim Crow galvanized people around the country to form study groups that morphed into social movements dedicated to addressing the racially-biased criminal justice system.
So out of collective concern and desire to take action, The Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice (SDARJ) was formed in June 2015. Support came from the Delaware Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow located in Wilmington, Delaware. That group’s leaders, the Reverend Paula Maiorano of the First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, and Reverend Lawrence Livingston of the Mother African Union Church, gave us technical and organizational assistance.
In June 2015 a group of The New Jim Crow study group leaders led an effort to create the organization’s vision, mission statement, and goals — and committees were formed to begin the organization’s work.
End racism and its corrosive consequences.
The Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice is a non-partisan organization that educates, informs, and advocates for racial justice, equality, and fair opportunity.
- Educate for change through knowledge and understanding of past and current racial issues and conditions.
- Enrich our cultural environment through multi-racial collaboration.
- Address racial and criminal injustice and advocate for ways to improve the criminal justice system in Delaware.
- Collaborate with like-minded groups to challenge structural and systemic racism.
- Promote positive change for the future of our youth.
SDARJ is governed by a Steering Committee. Its members are listed below with their email addresses.
- Charlotte King, Chair
- Reverend Arthur Jones, Jr., Co-Chair (no email address)
- Carol Wrozek, Recording Secretary
- Drew McKay, Treasurer, Parliamentarian
- James Sherard, Education Committee Co-Chair
- Kathleen Baker, Education Committee Co-Chair
- Don Peterson, Outreach Committee Chair
- Nancy Powell, Legislative Advocacy Committee Chair
- Jay Schiavo, Marketing Communications Committee Chair
- Mark Harris, Member at Large
- Paulette Rappa, Member at Large
- Estelle Selby, Member at Large
Meetings and Events
Meetings and events are open to the public and attendees are encouraged to join our email broadcast list and get involved in ways they can be productive and self-fulfilled.
- SDARJ Monthly Meetings are usually held on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at the Trinity Faith Christian Center, 15516 New Road, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Selected meetings will feature programs of interest to the community and others will address the organization’s business.
- The SDARJ Book Group usually meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 – 7:45 p.m. at the Lewes Library, 111 Adams Avenue, Lewes, Delaware 19958. Book club participants choose titles to read and discuss at the following month’s meeting.