Baraka plays host for fundraiser at Martha's Vineyard estate

By Dan Ivers | NJ Advance Media for
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on August 20, 2015

NEWARK – Mayor Ras Baraka hosted a fundraiser at a Martha's Vineyard estate earlier this week to raise money for his "Believe in Newark" non-profit.

The Tuesday night event, co-hosted by Newark-area attorney Glenn Scotland and his wife Diane in the island's Oak Bluffs section, included a cocktail reception for attendees, who were invited to donate to the organization.

According to the Believe in Newark website, suggested contributions ranged from $150 to $5,000.

The host committee included a number of notable names, including Assemblyman and Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Giblin's Chief of Staff Lolita Cruz; Irvington Township Attorney Ramon Rivera; Barnabas Health Executive Vice President and former top lobbyist Michellene Davis; Newark police spokesman Sgt. Ronald Glover and Gloria Hopkins Buck, the vice president of the Newark Museum Board of Trustees.

Also aboard the committee is Eric B., one-half of the legendary hip-hop duo Eric B and Rakim. City spokeswoman Marjorie Harris confirmed that the DJ and producer, real name is Eric Barrier, is a Newark employee, though she could not immediate provide details about his position.

On its website, the Believe in Newark Foundation casts itself as "a vehicle to provide resources, technical assistance and foster greater giving to support the nonprofit community and the residents of the City of Newark."

Among the programs it has helped fund are a local leadership initiative for students, the Newark Youth Council, and the Amiri Baraka Scholarship, which provides $6,000 for a Newark student planning on pursuing a higher education in the arts.

On Wednesday, Baraka took part in a panel discussion on the island off the Massachusetts coast. Entitled "Black and Blue: Policing the Color Line", it was hosted by Harvard Law School's Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, it focused on issues involving law enforcement and predominantly minority communities.

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