Join Us for the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Observance & Fair

South Orange Maplewood Community Coalition on Race presents the 18th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Monday, January 21, 2019 at 2:00 pm, at Columbia High School, 17 Parker Ave, Maplewood. 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 the Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, Sheila Y. Oliver, the first woman of color to serve in statewide elected office in New Jersey history. First elected to the General Assembly in 2003, she became Speaker in 2010 – the first African-American woman in state history to serve as such, and just the second in the nation’s history to lead a state legislative house. Lt. Governor Oliver is a 40-year resident of East Orange, and a native of Newark.

Following the celebration, there will be a Reception and Volunteer Fair follow at 3:30 pm in the cafeteria. Here’s a list of the donations that have been requested:

  • Food pantry items for local pantries
    Knitting yarn
    Old eyeglasses
  • For Cougar Cares
travel sized toiletries
bars of soap
maxi pads
tuna/crackers lunch kits
individual servings of beef jerky
individual servings of peanut butter, crackers
  • For the CHS Prom Shop (clothing can also be taken directly to Gleason’s Cleaners)
new and gently-used formal and cocktail dresses
dress shirts
manicure/pedicure gift certificates

On the night January 21st, we ask families to light up the outside of their home with Luminaries (read more here about the Luminary Project), white bags with votive candles inside that can be decorated with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision. The goal is for 2,000 homes and businesses 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, The Able Baker, the Wine Barrel and The Cassidy in Maplewood and Sparkhouse toy store in South Orange or at the Coalition’s office. For more information, please see the Community Coalition’s website at or call 973-761-6116.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.