Our Board of Directors and Advisory Committee have responsibility for raising funds for the renovation and continued maintenance of the facility and for overseeing the programs aimed at achieving the goals of the organization.
VICE PRESIDENT and MANAGING DIRECTOR
Rozlyn Anderson Flood
Dr. Joy Barnes-Johnson
BOARD MEMBER and TREASURER
MEET OUR TEAM: Laila Wilson-McCoy
What motivated you to join the Paul Robeson House of Princeton advisory committee?
I was introduced to Paul Robeson House of Princeton (PRHoP) by current board member, Kate Germond. I had familiarity of who Paul Robeson was, however I was only vaguely familiar with the organization.
After I obtained an understanding of the history of the house and the mission of the organization, I believed it aligned with my advocacy efforts related to education, equity, equality, justice and community development.
How do you see the mission of Centurion Ministries and Paul Robeson’s activism intertwining?
Paul Robeson led an inspiring life, he was an actor, singer, football player, and used these platforms to advocate for justice, peace, and civil rights. His advocacy efforts overlap Centurion’s mission of advocating for the wrongfully convicted. This mission means that we must find justice for those who have been convicted of a crime they didn’t commit. Many times, what contributed to the wrongful imprisonment has its roots in racism and bias. These convictions are also more likely to happen to those who are economically disadvantaged.
By fighting for justice for these men and women, we are also exposing the flaws in our criminal justice system and policing. As many can assume, this is a hard battle, similar to the hard battles Mr. Robeson encountered as he spoke up about the racism in this country and global civil rights.
In addition to my work with Centurion, I am also on the board of the YWCA Princeton, a Not In Our Town Princeton Truth & Transformation Committee Member, and a Review Committee Member for Cooperman College Scholars. Each of these organizations have a goal that works to create an equitable society, eliminate racism, and provide educational resources to help others in the community support these efforts. I am very proud to be a part of PRHoP, continuing the legacy of Paul Robeson’s civil rights activism, education, and inspiring people in a variety of fields to use their platforms to create a better society.
What do you want people to walk away knowing about Paul Robeson?
I think it is important to understand the climate he was in when he began speaking against the issues he deemed unjust. The courage and risk it took, the ability to remain steadfast in his beliefs even at the price of losing some of his freedoms, income, and reputation. Using his platform and notoriety as an entertainer to fight for others is genius. Something many, then and now, don’t do. Many times, we honor the men and women that fought for civil rights but forget that the appreciation we understand or give now wasn’t necessarily what they had at that time, or it was only done by a small select group.
If people can walk away understanding that we all have a responsibility in assisting in efforts that are greater than ourselves, it makes the burden lighter for all. Understand how his contributions should encourage us to continue his efforts, so future generations will live in a more just and equitable society. Use your platforms and daily activities to bring awareness and create change. This is how we honor his legacy and works.
Rev. Dave Davis
Paul Robeson’s actions and words are what I strive to live by. He was courageous in speaking out against injustice, he was a fearless trailblazer, and he was a man of peace. Reading and rereading his words are an inspiration. It is my hope that the Paul Robeson House becomes a center for important conversations and for change.