October 2021 Newsletter
Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 – October 15
SOMA is celebrating and learning together this month with a wealth of events. Visit SOMA Cross Cultural Works (HOLA Fest is October 9th!) and MAPSO Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month 2021 to see all that’s happening.
From the Coalition, meet long-time trustee Abigail Cotler and hear her perspective as a Puerto Rican woman growing up in communities where she experienced discrimination and her experience in SOMA working toward racial integration and equity in the towns and especially in the schools. “As a Puerto Rican, I always felt a bit like an outsider, even when serving on some of the boards I have been invited to serve on. Sometimes I felt my motivations were questioned or misunderstood. I have never felt this way while serving on the South Orange Maplewood Community Coalition on Race.” Read more here…
Saturday, October 23rd, 7 pm Virtual!

This year we are honoring two amazing community members, supporters of the Coalition, and distinguished professionals in higher education, research, and writing: Dr. Diane Hughes and Rev. Dr. Forrest Pritchett. Please join us for this virtual event that promises to be lots of fun and a great way to get to know fellow Coalition on Race supporters! Learn more and RSVP here today.

Sponsorships: Would you or your business like to be a virtual room host or a sponsor? Click here for more information on sponsorship benefits!

25th Anniversary Commemorative Journal: Would you like to congratulate the honorees or the Coalition? Would you like to submit a business logo and message? Click here for journal prices and information.
October 26th, 7:30 pm

The Schools Committee will host this informative forum for candidates running for a spot on the SOMSD Board of Education. Hear the candidates' views on integration and equity in our schools. All are welcome.
Celebrating 25 years: Did you know…
Building relationships with realtors is important to achieving racial integration? The Coalition’s work with realtors has been critical to the success of marketing the towns as inclusive and in working toward integrated neighborhoods by encouraging sales to people of all races in all areas. In the early years, the Coalition worked with a regional fair housing council to ensure ethical realtor practices and to challenge objectionable realtor practices like racial steering. The Coalition also gave its own tours and provided realtors with informational packets—work that led to a New York Times article “Where Not Only Agents Do the Selling” which notes how South Orange and Maplewood became role models at mobilizing residents to promote their towns as diverse and inclusive places to live. In this and a host of other articles, SOMA gained its well-earned reputation as a progressive community committed to making racial integration and equity a reality. We also collaborated with realtors on the Two Towns, One Great Community video that promotes the towns. We have continued to partner with realtors, who are often the first point of contact for prospective in-movers, to provide them with up-to-date information on schools and municipal plans from SOMA town leaders. Last year we provided realtor training on anti-racist practices: over 120 regional realtors attended an informative session on fair housing history, unconscious bias in the real estate industry, and strategies on serving Black home seekers with productive and equitable approaches. Learn more here…
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.

Upcoming Events
Foreclosure & Eviction Prevention Update
Register for a free workshop later this month (October) on resources and approaches to help avoid foreclosure and eviction. This information will provide an update based on the current COVID 19 Moratorium and will be provided by the Community and Economic Development Department of La Casa De Don Pedro. Visit communitycoalitiononrace.org for registration details in early October.
973-761-6116 | info@twotowns.org