Our residents’ commitment to being truly inclusive and to protecting civil liberties has been on display repeatedly over the last few weeks. Thousands of women (along with quite a few men) left SOMa for the January 21st March on Washington to express their concern about issues like racial equality, freedom of religion, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, economic opportunity, and more. Before the march and long before the recent Executive Order on Immigration, town leadership started discussing what it would mean to be ‘sanctuary cities.’
Maplewood ultimately adopted a resolution on being a Welcoming Community. South Orange is developing their own statement. Since the order, many in our community have responded at regional rallies to protest the Executive Order temporarily banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries and the Coalition issued the following statement:
As a grassroots organization committed to establishing communities that are racially, culturally and socially integrated and truly inclusive, we deplore the president’s unconstitutional executive order banning the entry of Muslims to this country. Mindful of the world in which we live, we are firmly committed to standing with our sisters and brothers from all faith communities and national origins who seek a haven in the US or who are trying to return to the place they’ve called home for years. We must never forget that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Many of our residents are responding to threats to racial justice and barriers to equal opportunity by supporting organizations that work against hate, bigotry, and the ill-effects of stereotyping with their time and talents. We applaud these efforts to stand up for civil rights through all the organizations and grass-roots efforts available locally and nationally. And we invite people to support the Coalition on Race’s specific mission and vision:
Mission: To build and sustain a community that is racially, culturally and socially integrated and truly inclusive where there is equity and equality for all.
Vision: We aspire to be a community that is a model for the nation in which people of different races, ethnic groups and backgrounds can interact, form friendships and participate fully in the community’s economic, political, civic, educational and cultural life.
According to our mission, we will continue to work on behalf of a community that is inclusive and welcoming, where together we can face racism, where we work toward shared leadership and engagement of people of all races in community affairs, and where our public schools serve all children equitably.