South Orange Maplewood Community Coalition on Race presents its 17th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Monday, January 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm, at Columbia High School auditorium, 17 Parker Ave, Maplewood followed at 3:30 pm by the Annual Volunteer Fair and Reception in the cafeteria. The event is free and open to all. Hundreds of SOMA residents and friends from neighboring communities gather to honor Dr. King through music, a sharing of interfaith readings, and an affirmation of Dr. King’s call to action and service.
The keynote speaker is long-time civil rights activist Larry Hamm, the founding chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress in Newark, one of the few organizations that can claim a victory against state intransigence around police brutality. Hamm has been a relentless advocate for African American people and the cause of human rights for more than 30 years. The Volunteer Fair will showcase local service organizations that offer opportunities for residents to give back to the community by volunteering on the spot or in the future. Organizations interested in participating in the Fair should contact the Coalition office at 973-761-6116, X4 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations of food pantry items, knitting yarn, old eyeglasses, children’s books (K-5th grade) and travel-sized toiletry donations are requested.
On that evening of January 15th beginning at 5 pm, we ask families to light up the outside of their homes with Luminaries white bags with votive candles inside that can be decorated with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision. The goal is for 1,000 homes in SOMA to be lit up as a sign of hope, sanctuary, peace, and solidarity with Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community. The Luminaries come four in a pack for a suggested donation of $10 and it is a fundraiser for the Coalition. Purchase Luminaries at Words Bookstore in Maplewood, Sparkhouse toy store in South Orange or at the Coalition’s office. For more information, please see the Community Coalition’s website at www.twotowns.org or call 973-761-6116.