Princeton’s Not in Our Town program has selected three Princeton High School seniors, Papakojo Kuranchie ’14, Chelsea Pierre ’14, and Sawsan Al-Jahli ’14, to win the Unity Award, given to students who have helped raise awareness about discrimination and promote racial equality within the Princeton community.
Not in Our Town is a nationwide program that aims to promote peace and economic, social, and racial equality. To do this, communities create their own NIOT group to combat racial inequality on a local level. NIOT Princeton works with the Princeton Public Schools to fight bullying, discrimination, and intolerance. In addition, NIOT picks two to three seniors every year who promote racial equality and peace.
Unlike other awards and competitions, NIOT looks at students during their whole school career and makes a decision without students having to apply for the award. Every year, NIOT looks at community and service, counselor recommendations, and other projects that students have done, and chooses the most well-rounded students to win the award.
Pierre said, “Being a Peer Group leader, Teen PEP leader, … [and] working closely with the [YMCA] outside of school—I think that’s how I got recognized to receive this award.”
To help spread racial equality, Kuranchie said, “Students should go around more, not just stick to the one race they specifically belong to. They should meet a variety of people … I feel like that’s what it’s about.”