Rutgers-Newark’s Center for Politics and Race in America to be named in honor of Sheila Oliver

The Rutgers University – Newark Center for Politics and Race in America — a “fact tank” for research on the nation’s political life and a resource for underrepresented students seeking careers in government and public service — will be named in a ceremony in honor of the late Lt. Gov. Sheila Y. Oliver, the school announced.

There will be a ceremony March 1 on campus at Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall marking the moment.

The Center for Politics and Race in America aims to be a resource that rapidly disseminates high-quality data and faculty scholarship on race and politics at the national and state level — with a particular focus on New Jersey — and a place for cutting-edge training in political research methods and data analysis.

It also seeks to diversify the field of young people who have access to careers in government and public service through paid internships and other programs.

OIiver, who died last summer at the age of 71, represents all of those qualities.

The first African American woman in New Jersey to hold statewide office, she had a legendary career in politics — and in helping people becoming the state’s first Black lieutenant governor and Assembly speaker.

More than that, she has long been hailed as someone ready, willing and eager to help anyone at any time. Her family has created the Sheila Y. Oliver Civic Association in an effort to continue her legacy as it aims to help others enter public service.

The honor at Rutgers-Newark is just the latest accolade.

To mark the occasion, Johnson & Johnson will announce a donation creating a new scholarship program in her memory.