July 2021 Newsletter
Did you know… Being intentional about racial integration and equity in our schools benefits all children and it positively impacts residential racial integration. The Schools Committee has been working for integrated schools and classrooms along with equitable pedagogy for over two decades. That work has included bringing in outside experts to support the school district in creating systemic changes that prioritize and result in educational equity and excellence. To those ends, the Schools Committee called for examining disaggregated data for students and encouraging the district to use that data in evaluating programs and student placement disparities. They supported de-leveling proposals and advocated for student choice in AP Classes. They provided cultural competency training and then advocated for on-going, consistent, professional anti-racism training for all staff. They advocated for sustained diversity hiring practices and supports for staff members of color. Always striving to address the root causes of the achievement gap as well as poorly integrated classrooms and schools, the committee has participated in multiple district strategic planning initiatives in order to put a special emphasis on racial equity and inclusion throughout the educational experience. Learn more about their work here… .
Save the Date for Celebrating Integration 2021!
Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 23rd, 7 pm for our annual dinner and awards event. Our theme this year is: Honoring Our History—Envisioning Our Future. We’re so excited to be together again at The Woodland in Maplewood. Stay tuned for this year’s honorees…
Juneteenth, the African American holiday marking the end of slavery, was observed with a flag-raising and many events throughout SOMA. The Coalition on Race co-sponsored Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom with Durand-Hedden House. The event included outside activities on the grounds of this historic location, as well as a tour of the “Slavery in New Jersey: A Troubled History” exhibit. For the day in pictures and more information, click here.
SOMA Pride hosted a screening of this documentary of an extraordinary man. Brother Outsider is about the life and work of Bayard Rustin—a visionary strategist and activist who has been called “the unknown hero” of the civil rights movement. A disciple of Gandhi, a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr., and the architect of the 1963 March on Washington, Rustin dared to live as an openly gay man during the fiercely homophobic 1940s, '50s and '60s. The Q&A included the film's co-director, Bennett Singer, and Bayard Rustin's partner, Walter Naegle, Robert Seda-Schreiber, Chief Activist, Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice and was moderated by the Coalition on Race’s Program Director, Audrey Rowe. To view the Talk Back, click here, and to view the trailer or purchase the film, click here.
Many thanks again to Julie Snyder, producer of the podcast series Nice White Parents and to Dr. Adunni Anderson, life-long educator and former principal, for continuing the conversation on best approaches to racially integrated schools that are truly inclusive and have all students' and families' best interests in mind. Watch the video here.
We hope we can count on your renewed support with a donation today. You can:

• Text ccrgive to (202) 858-1233
• Mail a check to us at 516 Prospect St., Maplewood NJ 07040

We greatly appreciate your partnership with us to build and sustain a South Orange and Maplewood community that is racially, culturally, and socially integrated and truly inclusive where there is equity and equality for all.
In case you missed it…
We have had the good fortune to host many informative and challenging conversations and programs so far this year with some amazing leaders in their fields. Links to videos and information are below.

'Dear MAPSO: The Conversation' hosted by the Coalition Youth Collective

973-761-6116 | info@twotowns.org