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Former Central High School is now NJIT’s Central King Building

Two hundred NJIT students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the public were on hand yesterday for the official ribbon cutting of the newly renovated Central King Building–the same building that was once home to Newark’s Central High School.

Fourteenth Avenue School will soon enjoy a new playground made from student-recycled products

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New campaign invites Newark class of 2016 graduates to historic City Hall photo shoot this month [registration]

participate cardIt started as casual musing on Facebook just over a month ago.

“You know what i’d like to see/help organize?,” wrote Shanell Dunns, who is the deputy director of the New Jersey Black Alliance for Educational Options, or BAEO. “A citywide photoshoot, in one of our parks, of all rising college freshman adorned in their college t-shirts/hat.”

The comments that flowed in were swift and affirmative in favor of such a display, with many people offering to help organize the event. The following day, Dunns confirmed to her followers that the shoot was “about to go down.” About a week later, it had a name and a hashtag.

“Knowledge lives in Newark.” #BondingBrickScholars.

Now the event has a complete framework around it: the photo shoot will take place on Sunday, July 17th on the steps of Newark City Hall (rain date: August 16th) and is calling on 2016 high school graduates from Newark who are entering their freshman year in college or enlistment in the armed forces, as well as 2016 graduates of traditional and non-traditional colleges and universities. Participants should wear their regalia.

The shoot is well in line with BAEO’s mission: it hopes to both highlight and embody academic excellence in Newark by showing off the city’s scholars in the flesh, and to use that image to continue promoting academic achievement. In the process, the organizers also want to push back against the idea that Newarkers don’t achieve success, and to highlight the diversity of post-graduate choices by inviting Newarkers who will pursue a spectrum of post-graduate options.

Class of 2016 graduates who would like to participate should register online. Check-in is at 9 a.m. on the morning of the photoshoot, and the shoot itself will take place at 10 a.m.

For more information, visit