A Spirit of Gratitude Filled the Coalition on Race’s Celebrating Integration Awards Dinner

Over 150 people gathered at The Woodland in Maplewood to honor community members who have exemplified the Coalition on Race’s integration and inclusion mission and to celebrate the work accomplished over the last year. This year’s honorees included Dr. Adunni Anderson, Carol Buchanan, and Jim Buchanan, all of whom have contributed deeply over time to the Coalition’s mission through their commitments to education, building strong neighborhoods, and using the music and the arts to bring people together.

According to ED Nancy Gagnier, “There was so much good will in the room—we know we have serious work ahead of us, but it’s heartening to know that we have so much support. We can’t thank our local businesses, sponsors, and donors enough.”

Assemblywoman Mila Jasey was there to present the honorees with state legislative proclamations, Senator Corey Booker sent a congratulatory message, and both Mayor Vic DeLuca and Village President Sheena Collum were there and included letters of support for the Coalition.  Also in attendance were Chief Kyle Kroll, Maplewood Township Committee member Frank McGehee, South Orange Village Trustee Walter Clarke, and BOE members Donna Smith, Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, and Elizabeth Baker.

Chair of the Coalition Robert A. Marchman noted “We need to continue to lead the way to build bridges that unite not walls that divide. Such visible support from elected representatives speaks volumes to those looking to support our important work.”

The event included live music, dancing, and an auction that helps to raise funds to support the pro-integrative programs sponsored by the Coalition throughout the year. In addition to the auction, ticket sales, a souvenir journal, and donations made in honor of the awardees, the dinner is supported by sponsors. Sponsors for this year included Benefactors Fred and Sue Profeta, and table hosts, Robert A. and Faye Marchman, David and Betty Harris, Dean Dafis and George Forbes, Erin and Matt Scherzer, and Kelly and Martin Quirk-Ceperly.

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