I am so glad you featured the work of Elijah Dixon in Trenton, where I have lived with my husband since 2005. We are friendly with other Princetonians who love and support Trenton with time, talent, treasure — and residence! As former trustee and president of the I Am Trenton Community Foundation, we have been delighted to have supported Elijah’s work (financially and as cheerleaders) for almost a decade now. The I Am Trenton Community Foundation provides microgrants to Trenton entrepreneurs who bring the foundation their practical and very creative dreams to make their neighborhoods better places to live. In the decade-plus of our activities in Trenton, we have cultivated close connections with people making a positive difference in Trenton in all aspects of Trenton’s life. We have done this because we live, work, and play in Trenton. Although we welcome and are blessed by the contributions of others, most of our funds come from small donations, and most of our donations come from here. We’re a vibrant, diverse community, but it’s hard to see that as a tourist.

We who love Trenton and Princeton both are thrilled to see Princeton in the Nation’s Service in Trenton. I must thank Princeton alum Marty Johnson ’81 for his decades of work supporting our community through providing opportunities for youth. And, of course, we are happy for the helpful energies of Princeton’s vibrant, creative and intelligent students, staff, and faculty.

Many of us in Trenton are also vibrant, creative, and intelligent, and so we welcome partnerships that treat us as such, our home as such. It is not Trenton’s fault that the state occupies most of our taxable property, pays no taxes, and complains when Trenton expects the necessary support to run a diverse city and educate and protect our children. If we are “low-status” it is because others have deemed us so and reinforced their opinions by starving us of resources and maligning the character of people who live here.

We flourish in spite of those who consider us “low-status.” Even if that’s how we are referred to in outdated, insensitive academic literature, it is not a nice thing to say to our face. And we are listening.

I celebrate and look forward to hearing more about partnerships between the people of Trenton (who bring their various resources) and the people of our neighboring towns and institutions (who bring their various resources). Welcome. Please come. And let us work together as persons who bear equally the image of the divine to make our world a better place to flourish for everybody.