First ARM Dignity Summit Moderated by Prof. Julia Sass Rubin

November 2, 2023

John El-Maraghy (B.A. Public Health ’17) has convened the first Dignity Summit on Saturday at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center as a sort of meeting of the minds – and hearts.

The co-founder and director of Archangel Raphael’s Mission (ARM) is assembling the leaders of other organizations who are using hospitality as a way to dispense dignity among the most vulnerable in our midst to swap notes, dispel myths and, perhaps most importantly, sound a clarion call for help.

“It’s a Bat signal to volunteers and funders in the private sector to show that there is a class of organizations, whether they be grassroots or they be extremely well established, that really get it,” El-Maraghy said. “Dignity is the pathway forward for that, and that outreach capability is the way that we’re able to address those needs in a very human way.

“We need your help,” he added. “We need other organizations who share our perspective to join in. We need members of the audience to donate and volunteer. We need the local, private industry to invest in our work and to sponsor our work.”

Among the panelists for Saturday’s forum will be Robert Foran, a member of the advisory board at ARM, which focuses much of its efforts on providing hygiene services through a mobile shower unit.

Other participants will be Melina Morris of Bombas, a New York-based organization that donates one pair of socks for each pair sold; Brian McGovern of North Jersey Community Research Initiative, which has a 35-year history of providing HIV/AIDS care and treatment to individuals in northern New Jersey; Shabana of Covenant House New Jersey, whose mission is to provide housing and supportive services to youth ages 18-24 experiencing homelessness; and Richard Vernon of Shower Power, a New York-based group that provides hygiene kits and shower access.

El-Maraghy said these panelists are kindred spirits through their focus on providing dignity through hygiene and service. But it will be fascinating to hear them speak about what they are doing and how they are doing it.

“Probably the most important part is understanding the interconnectivity between all these things,” he said. “Generally speaking, a lot of folks have this perception that such-and-such is a homeless service organization, such-and-such is an LGBT organization. The reality is all these groups have a ton of interconnectivity.”

For instance, domestic violence is often cited as a cause of homelessness. So, someone who identifies as LGBT could be especially vulnerable to sexual violence and therefore be vulnerable to homelessness and therefore could be vulnerable to mental health issues, El-Maraghy said.

The Dignity Summit will be moderated by Dr. Julia Sass Rubin, an associate professor and director of public policy program at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers.

Doors open at about 1 p.m., and the Dignity Summit is scheduled to run for about 2½ hours.

There will be a VIP reception from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. with a bottomless mimosa breakfast celebrating ARM’s work and the panelists. This reception will be open only to VIP ticket holders. VIP ticket sales end Friday at 10 a.m.

Student tickets are a $7, and students must enter the code “student” at top right of the box office site. General admission tickets are $10 (less raffle tickets) or $25 (more raffle tickets).

Tap Into New Brunswick, October 31, 2023

Recent Posts

Research: Powering Bikeshare in New York City

Powering bikeshare in New York City: does the usage of e-bikes differ from regular bikes? Abstract In this study, we investigate the difference between shared electric bicycles (e-bikes) and conventional shared bikes operated by Citi Bike in New York City. We examine...

The Biggest Barrier to a Vibrant Second-Hand EV Market? Price

New policies and broader subsides are needed to help lower-income buyers afford used electric vehicles, according to a Rutgers study As early adopters of electric vehicles (EVs) trade up for the latest models, the used EV market is beginning to mature in the United...

New Paper on Affordable Rental Housing by NJSOARH

Local Landscapes of Assisted Housing: Reconciling Layered and Imprecise Administrative Data for Research Purposes The New Jersey State of Affordable Housing (NJSOARH) project seeks to understand the state of rental housing affordable to low-income and very low-income...

NJSPL – Extreme Heat, Coastal Flooding, and Health Disparities

Extreme Heat, Coastal Flooding, and Health Disparities: Climate Change Impacts on Older Adults in New Jersey By Josephine O’Grady New Jersey is facing a myriad of climate challenges, including extreme heat, heavy precipitation, coastal flooding, and more natural...

New Paper on Foreclosure Crisis by Prof. Eric Seymour

Prof. Eric Seymour co-authors Judged by Their Deeds: Outcomes for Properties Acquired by Contract Sellers Following the Foreclosure Crisis in Detroit Abstract Prior research has documented the reemergence of predatory land contracts in majority-Black neighborhoods in...

Upcoming Events

Bloustein Honors Research Program Poster Session

Bloustein School, Civic Square Building 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, United States

The members of the 2023-24 Bloustein Honors Research Program cohort will be presenting their individual research projects in two formats.

Korea Development Institute Policy Paper Presentations

Bloustein School, Civic Square Building 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, United States

All members of the Bloustein community are invited to the final presentation of policy papers by our Korea Development Institute students. Faculty, staff, and students are all welcome to attend.  Light […]