Why Integration?

Our vision is to achieve and sustain the benefits of a thriving, racially integrated and truly inclusive community that serves as a model for the nation.

Many communities are diverse; few are integrated. Diversity may find people of different races and ethnicities living near each other, but integration finds them living with each other—interacting, forming friendships, participating fully in the community’s economic, political, civic, and cultural life. Read More...

South Orange/Maplewood Video

Two Towns, One Community

South Orange and Maplewood are…
    • adjoining suburbs with tree-lined streets and good schools
    • 29 minutes from NYC by train
    • full of parks and recreation
    • arts and culture destinations
    • graced by historic buildings and homes
    • one community where everyone is welcome!

What people find here is a small town feel with the conveniences and cachet of cosmopolitan living. There are 17 beautiful parks with ball fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, jogging paths, great sledding, and each town has a community pool. Both towns border the South Mountain Reservation—a 2020 acre preserve with hiking and biking trails. Residents refer to the down-towns of South Orange and Maplewood each quaintly as 'The Village.' Take the train to either of 'The Villages' to visit our wonderful stores, restaurants, arts centers, and take a walk through our neighborhoods to see the range and beauty of our homes!

News & Events

  • Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum to Return to SOMA!Apr 23rd 2016

    It’s our 20th Anniversary this year and it’s an ideal time to bring back race relations expert and author of ‘Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race’ to lead our Conversations on Race forum! May 11th, 7:30 pm, The Woodland, Free!

  • Multicultural, Anti-Bias Education & ParentingApr 20th 2016

    These were the topics discussed at the Schools Committee’s workshop led by Dr. Khyati Joshi at the South Orange Middle School Library last night.

  • 2016 Shekere Maker ProjectApr 7th 2016

    As part of our 2016 Integration through the Arts programming, we are sponsoring free “maker” workshops to create and learn to play the Shekere – a West African gourd instrument.

  • My Story: Smart Phone Shorts about SOMA’s Diverse CommunityApr 4th 2016

    Learn how to create a compelling video story short on your smart phone or tablet! Work with professional photographer Mansa Mussa in this free workshop and enter your video at the South NEXT Festival.

  • Coffee House Discussions Talked about Diverse Representation in SOMA Clubs & SportsApr 1st 2016

    Thanks to The Rack in Maplewood for hosting our discussion group! We filled three tables with people who offered observations on and suggestions for increasing diversity in extracurriculars.