The board of trustees is grateful for the generous donation made by founding member Fred Profeta to the Coalition on Race that will support it's initiative to increase the rate of Black in-movers to SOMA. Read more...
Fred Profeta, a founding board member and first chair of the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race, recently made a very generous gift to the organization he has supported with his time, talent, and financial contributions over its 23-year history. Mr. Profeta’s gift of $29,000 will provide the seed money to make it possible for the Coalition to work on a targeted marketing campaign that will support the sustainability of racial integration in the South Orange and Maplewood communities. Since it was originally published, Mr. Profeta has been interested in the results of the Coalition’s 2016 Demographics Report which confirmed suspicions that the community has experienced a decrease in Black in-movers and an increase in White in-movers. Committed to making SOMA a welcoming and inclusive community and to achieving stable racial integration, he saw this as an opportunity to help make a difference.
After identifying this demographic trend, the Coalition’s trustees developed two initiatives in 2018, so that they could focus on the most pressing issues confronting successful integration and inclusion. One of the ongoing initiatives is to ensure the sustainability of racial integration in SOMA, by both affirming and supporting the current population of Black people and by researching and developing strategies to increase the rate of Black in-movers. In the first phase of this effort, generously supported by Mr. Profeta’s gift, the Coalition will hire a marketing consultant or firm to develop, launch, and manage a campaign to increase visibility of Maplewood and South Orange as desirable towns to live in for people of color.
Mr. Profeta shared, "The Coalition came into existence in the mid-nineties when we were losing our white population at a rapid pace, and our integrated community was in danger. That trend was halted. Now we face a new trend of the opposite sort but of equal danger to the benefits of integrated living. Once again, the Coalition must step up with a vigorous response and I am proud to partner and support their efforts."
Robert Marchman, Chair, Coalition on Race shared, "I have always respected Fred for being a true champion for equality, racial integration and diversity and inclusion in our community and society through both word and deed. Fred leverages his considerable position of import and influence to consistently advocate for equal opportunity and treatment for persons of color. His generous gift to the Coalition further demonstrates that, unlike too many other advocates for change, he not only talks the talk but walks the walk. I truly hope that Fred’s commitment to racial equality will be modeled by many given the current state of affairs in our society.”
Nancy Gagnier, Executive Director said, “Together with our board, I am truly grateful to Mr. Profeta for his leadership and generosity. This gift will have such a tremendous impact on the Coalition’s ability to fulfil a key mission, researching and developing strategies to increase the rate of Black in-movers.