The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race announced today new projects aimed at enhancing the South Orange/Maplewood (SOMA) community. The two projects—the SOMA Civic Engagement Institute and a new video that showcases the two towns—are directly aligned with the organization’s mission to achieve and sustain the benefits of a thriving, racially integrated and truly inclusive community that serves as a model for the nation.
“With the support of our Town officials, sponsors and volunteers, we continue to develop and implement programs that ensure that our two towns maintain racial integration, despite reported national trends toward re-segregation,” said Nancy Gagnier, Executive Director of the Community Coalition on Race.
The SOMA Civic Engagement Institute is a series of workshops for residents who want to know more about what it means to be a volunteer, how to assess and develop their own skills and work styles, what opportunities exist in our community and how local organizations and governments are structured. Sessions are free and open to all residents, with emphasis on residents under 40 who are members of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. “Participation in school, civic, governmental and business organizations by people of all races and persuasions is a necessary condition for a truly inclusive, racially integrated community. This new program will help develop our next generation of volunteers in our communities, the state and the nation,” said Audrey Rowe, Program Director.
The second new project is the video: South Orange/Maplewood: Two Towns, One Great Community, developed to showcase the towns. The video is designed to introduce and supplement the Coalition’s free guided ‘jitney’ tours for prospective homebuyers and other visitors who use the web to learn about residential communities. The video highlights the two towns’ beauty, attractive homes, great schools, arts and culture, and more. “This is a great marketing tool for attracting new people to our community,” added Rowe.
About The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race
The Community Coalition On Race is a nationally recognized non-profit organization committed to building a unique, suburban community that is free of racial segregation in housing patterns, schools, business, civic and community involvement. The Coalition was founded in 1996 by a diverse group of citizens concerned about stagnating property values and a perceived decline in the quality of local public schools. Over its seventeen years, the organization has developed programs that promote the advantages of living in a racially inclusive community where all aspects of community life are integrated. For more information, please Visit www.twotowns.org.