SOMA Was Shining with Luminaries in Honor of Dr. King

Nearly 1000 SOMA homes put luminaries outside their homes at 5 p.m. on Monday in honor of King’s life and legacy, as a sign of peace and our commitment to building the beloved community.

“We are proud to be actively pursuing Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of the beloved community,” said Patricia Matthews Canning, chair of the MLK Luminary Project. “The beauty of the South Orange-Maplewood community is how we have normalized action and service. This is a community where children naturally serve and are inspired to take action.”

This was the 5th year for the project and is a way to end a day of service and observance of Dr. King’s legacy and a reminder to carry the work forward into the days ahead. This year, the Townships of South Orange and Maplewood held public lighting ceremonies in the towns before people went home to light their own luminaries. We are grateful to Village President Sheena Collum and Mayor Vic DeLuca for presiding–have a look at the videos below.

We are also grateful to Patricia Canning for leading the project and to her support team of many local volunteers. We also thank the local businesses–[words] Bookstore, the Able Baker, and Sparkhouse–for offering the luminary kits on our behalf. The $10 donation for the kit supports the Coalition’s mission to be a racially integrated and truly inclusive community.

The Community Coalition on Race’s Luminary Project in our beloved community of Maplewood and South Orange NJ! Lighting our towns for peace, freedom and hope! #somaluminaries Patricia Matthews Canning Nancy Gagnier

Posted by Liz Testa on Monday, January 15, 2018

Tonight at 5 pm we gathered together in Spiotta Park to light the luminaries in memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. Thank you to Sheena Collum for her passionate speech, the Coalition leaders who also spoke and thanked the community for coming out on such a cold night, to South Orange Village Center for the support and hot chocolate and to all of our neighbors who attended! Thank you to Patricia Matthews Canning for her great leadership!

Posted by South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race on Monday, January 15, 2018

This project has inspired other towns to take part–this year Chatham followed our example–read more here.

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