2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Observance & Fair

This year marks the 50th Commemoration of Dr. King’s Assassination

The 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 audrey.rowe@twotowns.org.

Donations of food for local pantries, knitting yarn, old eyeglasses, children’s books (K-5th grade) and travel-sized toiletry ( bar soap, lotions, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair products for all hair types) donations are requested. Below is a list of the most-needed food items:

Hot & Cold Cereals (low-sugar)
Shelf-safe Milk
Peanut Butter (Columbia High School specially requests glass jars of nut butters)
Pasta (whole wheat or regular)
Pasta Sauce (in cans)
Tuna (in water)
Canned Vegetables (no-salt or low-salt)
Canned Fruit (in juice, not syrup)
Rice (1 lb. bags)
Beans (canned or dried)
Canned Soup or Chili (low salt)

For information on the MLK Luminary Project, click here.

 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 on the Luminary Project, click here.


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