June 2021 Newsletter
This year marks the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race’s 25th anniversary. That’s 25 years of advocacy, education, and community engagement activities to make our towns racially integrated and equitable.

While we are excited to celebrate this milestone, the ongoing effects of systemic racism everywhere in housing, education, employment, and civic power require our vigilant attention, strategic thinking, and action plans to create the truly inclusive community we aspire to be. And we need your ongoing help.

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.
The Community Coalition on Race…25 Years of Building Inclusive Communities
Did you know that Conversations on Race started in 2001 as a partnership with the SOMA Adult School as the Two Towns Study Circle Program? The intention was to involve SOMA residents in dialogue and action on race and racism and we have maintained that focus ever since. Conversations on Race has been an annual event since 2008 and is a community-wide conversation on integration, inclusion, and race-related issues of concern to our community and our nation. In 2015, in response to requests for more opportunities to have dialogues about emerging issues, we launched Coffee House Discussions to engage residents in timely, small-group discussions. Learn more about past speakers and topics here. Have an idea for a topic? Send us a note here.
In collaboration with leaders in the AAPI community in our towns, this presentation and discussion was an informative learning session on who Asian-American Pacific Islanders are, what micro-aggressions they experience here and beyond on a regular basis, and what we can do to dismantle individual and cultural practices that create AAPI invisibility in SOMA. Many thanks to panelists Kim Chan, Cathy LeBlanc, Devyani Guha, and Raymund Mantes for their presentations and experiences. Watch the video and see the presentation here.
Remembering the Tulsa Race Massacre and the Anniversary of George Floyd’s Murder
May 25th marked the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer and June 1st marked the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa massacre in which a white mob destroyed the homes and businesses of Black people resulting in hundreds of deaths. These are two representatives of some of the worst racial violence in US history—a history that cannot be erased and that must be understood in order to commit to change now and in the future.
Juneteenth, the African American holiday marking the end of slavery, will be celebrated on Saturday, June 19th at Durand-Hedden House in Maplewood. The event will include outside activities on the grounds of this historic location, as well as a tour of the “Slavery in New Jersey: A Troubled History” exhibit. Please use this link to make a reservation for a one-hour time slot between 11 am and 3:45 pm. Social distancing and other COVID19 safety precautions will be observed. For more information on the event, click here.
Calling all youth activists to make a change in our community! This is a youth-led group highlighting social injustices through artistic expression. Meetings are every Tuesday, 4:30 pm by Zoom. For more information, send us an email at info@twotowns.org. Learn more about the Youth Collective here. 
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:
·       Marketing
·       Information Technology
·       Fundraising
Upcoming June Events
June is Pride Month! SOMA Celebrates Pride 2021. Pride events will take place in SOMA almost daily, including the Equality March & Rally, Youth Pride Family Picnic, Lavender Graduation 2021, and more. The annual festival is Saturday, June 12th, in Memorial Park. Click here for the full list events.
Juneteenth: MAPSO 2021 Juneteenth. Officially observed on June 19th to celebrate the ending of slavery in the United States, SOMA is offering a week’s worth of events in honor of this commemoration. Click here for the list of local events beginning June 13th.
973-761-6116 | info@twotowns.org