‘Newark: Urban Issues’ Was Topic of October 25 Skeptics

Posted: October 20, 2016

The Society of Skeptics welcomed Newark-based minister, scholar and community activist Nyle Fort on October 25 for an in-depth discussion of the issues faced by New Jersey’s most-populous city. Dedicated to “global transformative justice,” Mr. Fort has worked in education, criminal justice and youth development for a decade and was one of many community leaders who participated in the Ferguson, Missouri, protests following the death of African American teenager Michael Brown.

Mr. Fort earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Morehouse College and a master’s of divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary. Currently pursuing his PhD in religion and African American studies at Princeton University, he writes and speaks frequently on issues of activism and social justice. He is the founder of Newark Books and Breakfast, a monthly program designed to build community and empower and educate local youth by providing free books and a hot meal.

A 2014 article on described Mr. Fort as “the 24-year-old minister at the heart of Ferguson,” and Mr. Fort noted in the piece that his activism “is motivated by a desire to rise above that ignorance, hate and suppression.” His presentation at Blair begins at 7 p.m. in Bogle Hall’s Cowan Auditorium.

The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.

The program was an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon.’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please click here.

Last Updated: October 31, 2016