August 2021 Newsletter
The Community Coalition on Race…
25 Years of Building Inclusive Communities
Did you know…the Community Coalition on Race from its very inception has included a strong focus on residential integration: people of different races living in every neighborhood throughout the towns? One of the earliest goals was to promote strong and sustained robust demand by all racial groups for housing in every area of our community. Accomplishing this involved marketing the towns based on their integration culture and working to address realtor steering that might reinforce racially isolated neighborhoods. And, the Coalition took another, innovative step: developing financial incentives to promote racially integrative moves. The first incentive program, the Pro-Integrative Second Mortgage (PRISM), was a low interest, second mortgage loan incentive program for homebuyers designed to encourage and improve neighborhood racial diversity in particular areas of the community where one race was underrepresented. (Read more about PRISM here) In 2013, we developed a new loan program designed to assist current homeowners with necessary home repairs as a support to maintain integrated neighborhoods. Today, our Residential Committee is working to address new challenges and barriers to pro-integrative moves. To those ends, they are working on a loan program that more directly addresses racial barriers to home ownership. Read more about the new program below.
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…
Connecting through the Arts in Challenging Times: A Youth Film Documentary Project for 2021
Youth from the Coalition Youth Collective and other 8th through 12th grade students are creating documentaries that profile the impacts of the COVID19 Pandemic and the BLM/Social Justice Movement on local artists and their work. Young filmmakers are learning the tools and techniques used to tell a story or to create an experience using film. Later this year the community will be invited to view and discuss the results. This project is a part of the Community Coalition’s commitment to support our youth in finding and expressing their voices. It is made possible, in part, by funds from the Essex County Division of the Cultural Affairs, partner of the New Jersey Council on the Arts.
Check communitycoalitiononrace.org for future updates.  
Tools for Building Authentic Relationships
across Race
In July 2020, more than 190 people gathered virtually to participate in a two-part Coffee House Discussion titled Journey to Anti-Racism. In recognition that combatting racism requires continuous effort, the Coalition on Race formed three groups for attendees who wanted to further their progress in the areas of Education, Self-Reflection, and Taking Action. One significant observation that surfaced in the groups and in post-event surveys is the need to develop more tools and opportunities for people of different races to build and sustain authentic relationships. This issue is currently under review by multiple committees within the Community Coalition on Race.   
Residential Committee Completing Work on New Pro-integrative, Financial Incentive 
Working to address the Coalition’s initiative to increase the rate of Black and Brown in-movers to SOMA, and to improve residential integration, the Residential Committee developed the Wealth Gap Equalizer Loan (WGEL). This program is intended to offset the racial homeownership gap by reducing financial barriers for prospective Black and Hispanic home buyers purchasing in the SOMA community. The goal is to increase equity in housing opportunity by providing supplemental cash to qualified applicants for assistance in home purchase offers, down payments, closing costs, legal fees and other financial transactions required to successfully compete in the home-buying process. In addition to the loan, participants will work with HUD-approved counseling agencies, mortgage lenders, and other real estate professionals to get the support needed to become successful first-time homebuyers. Look for details later this year.
Anti-Asian racism and violent attacks on people of Asian descent have dramatically increased over the last year. Make Us Visible New Jersey, a coalition of students, parents, educators, and community members, is hosting a forum on adding AAPI studies to school curriculum on August 4th, 8 pm. Register here. To learn more click here and see how you can reach out to your legislators to support Senate S4021 bill advocating for Asian American and Pacific Islander inclusion in NJ public school curriculum.
Flexible, Part-time Social Media Assistant
The Community Coalition on Race is seeking a paid, part-time Social Media Assistant to work with staff to develop, create graphics for, load, and update content on social media sites, local print media, and local on-line calendars.
Volunteer with Us!
We are a volunteer organization with room for more people who want to support racial integration, equity, and inclusion. We are especially looking for people with talents and time to share in these areas:

·        Event Planning and Fundraising
·        Social Media Marketing & Copywriting
·        Information Technology

973-761-6116 | info@twotowns.org