Thinking outside the box: Watson sets a new vision for Diversity, Inclusion and Civic Engagement (Rutgers Camden)

Posted by Rutgers Camden on August 16, 2022

Camden residents remember 2012–13 as a decidedly low point for the city. There were 67 homicides in 2012—the most in the city’s history—and the police department was disbanded and restructured. The following spring, then-Governor Chris Christie took over the city’s schools, which had the second-lowest graduation rate in the state.

“So much has changed since then,” said Nyeema Watson, Rutgers University–Camden’s vice chancellor of diversity, inclusion, and civic engagement. “The police department has gotten national and international accolades for its work. Crime is down considerably. Economic investment is back. We have a school system that has changed dramatically, including a host of charter schools, and we’ve seen academic gains.”

Soon, Rutgers–Camden students will be interviewing current and former local residents as part of an oral history project to capture their reflections on the upheaval the city experienced a decade ago. The project is expected to lead to an archive of residents’ recollections, as well as a symposium on campus in the fall.

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