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First look
“Out of the Ashes Came Hope”

To debut Spring 2013



 

"50 People I Admire"
by Monsignor William J. Linder
(fourth in a series)

In my nearly 45 years here at the helm of New Community, I have met some most interesting and influential people. Many of these individuals are mentioned in a book I am currently working on about my life.

Special recognition will be given to all 50 at New Community's 45th Anniversary Gala taking place on March 9, 2013.


Joe Chaneyfield
Founding Member of the Board of Directors,
New Community Corporation

Arriving in Newark in the late 50's, Joe Chaneyfield would become a major force in the creation of New Community Corp. Growing up in Ridgefield, South Carolina (a small island off the east coast), Joe converted to Catholicism at Queen of Angels Church, in Newark. He believed strongly in helping people and he believed his faith opened the door to him creating something big in his "favorite" ward of Newark, the Central Ward. Working side by side with Monsignor Linder, Joe's drive to rebuild something new and different than the usual "dilapidated projects" was an ambitious plan given the political machine in Newark at that time. However, as we now see, his vision truly made an impact on hundreds of thousands of lives.

"Joe was one of my most trusted friends. There are countless stories I could tell about our work at NCC, and some I really can't. But for one, Joe was an extremely good person with a true passion for helping people. One of his most compelling characteristics was his very strong protectiveness over women and children. And being so outspoken at times, it was wonderful to watch him get down on a floor and play gently with small children, and they loved him for it. He was a warm and kind yet strong human being. He was mission-driven and his actions showed it. Because of the horrible racist attitudes that governed the thoughts of many people at that time, I was able to do things and go places that Joe could not. But we were a team and brothers in spirit, so we used every advantage we could get to make our cause a reality. And it worked. Joe is deceased now, and I miss him dearly, but he will never be forgotten for the hard work and dedication to the people of Newark."

Monsignor William J. Linder


The Victoria Foundation

Percy Chubb, II

Under the leadership of Percy Chubb II, who became president of the Foundation at the end of 1960, Victoria's board was evolving to include community leaders, giving it a broader perspective. With insight from board members such as Robert Lilley, CEO with the Newark-headquartered New Jersey Bell (and also one of the '50 People I Admire' by Monsignor Linder), the trustees gained an understanding of the lack of access to education and job opportunities for Newark's residents. The first educational project, the Crusade for Learning, operated for more than 16 years. As community needs intensified, the Foundation engaged its first Executive Officer, Mr. Howard E. Quirk, in 1968. Mr. Quirk's first task was to explore the needs of Newark's Central Ward and recommend a course of action for the Foundation that would help provide access and opportunities for people in the City. (source: www.victoriafoundation.org)


Margaret Parsons Parker,
Trustee, Victoria Foundation

As the daughter of Margaret Chubb Parsons and granddaughter of foundation founder, Hendon Chubb, Margaret Parsons Parker sought to carry on the foundation's work of inner city empowerment and her mother's concern for social justice, which became the framework for the Foundation's grant-making activity in Newark. Victoria had provided NCC with startup funds in 1968, and it nurtured the organization through its dynamic growth period in the 1970's and every year since. Victoria believes that today NCC is the largest community development corporation in the country (source: www.victoriafoundation.org).

Margaret, as Vice President of the Foundation and Chair of the Foundation's Education Committee, upheld Victoria Foundation's legacy by directly participating in education reform activities. Her hands-on approach to philanthropy has supported many of the educational innovation that has occurred in Newark's schools and organizations. Her quest for social justice and educational opportunity has benefited all of Newark's children.

 

 

Catherine
McFarland Harvey
Former Executive Officer and Secretary,
Victoria Foundation

In 1968, Cathy met Monsignor Linder in the Walk for Understanding, a march of 50,000 people demonstrating solidarity among black Newark residents and white suburbanites. She soon realized there was something great about to happen as she heard about this young priest from Queen of Angels. Since joining Victoria in 1971 as its second Executive Director, (after its first director Howard E. Quirk) Cathy began exploring innovative ways to meet educational and community challenges in the Greater Newark Area. In 1989, she became the Executive Officer of the Foundation and guided the Foundation in the annual distribution of grants until her retirement in 1996. Her 35-year leadership efforts resulted in new opportunities that empowered individuals, weaved a safety net for children and families and also fostered ideas to meet the insurmountable challenges facing Newark. She asked tough questions with a business-plan attitude, but her underlying approach was of deep belief in justice and fairness. She strongly believed that operating support was critical to all community organizations if they were to have lasting impact. She instituted a strategy at Victoria for larger, major grants that resulted in enthusiasm in private and public schools, and supported economic development in neighborhoods and downtown. Most notably, she set benchmarks for her peers in the philanthropic community.

"The Victoria Foundation saw in us the potential to do great things in Newark, at a time when we were struggling to formalize our plans. Margaret Parker, Percy Chubb, II and Cathy McFarland were all so supportive of our work. Cathy lead an effort to invite Neighborhood Funders, a group of national philanthropists and foundations, to come to Newark to see what we accomplished. No one believed we could do it, but as these funders started visiting, the word spread and they soon began touring regularly and recognized us as a model for community development. Cathy's and Victoria Foundation's recognition of general operating support being extremely important to organizations like ours is priceless."

Monsignor William J. Linder


John J. Gibbons, Esq.
Gibbons Del Deo Law Firm

In 1967, John Gibbons became President of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and also a member of the Governor's Commission on Civil Disorders. This period was a difficult time for the city of Newark. The Newark Riots ultimately left 23 people dead, 725 people injured, and close to 1,500 arrested. The firm's attorneys answered a call for help and delivered cars full of lawyers to the courthouses to assist in processing bail applications for the arrested individuals to clear overcrowded jails. The firm's attorneys subsequently were called upon to represent many of those arrested pro bono. (source: http://www.gibbonslaw.com/gibbons_legacy/index.php)

"John Gibbons was someone who believes in inclusion. I would say he was one of the most conservative, yet inclusive men I know. He really helped me earn an "A" by allowing me to interview him for my research. What is astounding is John went to mass everyday, and anyone who goes to church everyday, you knew was focused and committed. John's work during the 67' summer disorders and his firm's commitment to helping the people of Newark was truly remarkable. I believe his strong Catholic upbringing fueled his drive to do the right thing. His wife was one of Babyland's trustees and he drew up the incorporation papers for Babyland when they needed them."

Monsignor William J. Linder

 


(Series to be continued in February)

 

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