The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race is a nationally recognized non-profit organization committed to building a unique, suburban community that is free of racial segregation in housing patterns and community involvement. The Coalition was founded in 1996 by a diverse group of citizens concerned about stagnating property values and a perceived decline in the quality of local public schools. Since then, we have developed programs that promote the advantages of living in a racially inclusive community where all aspects of community life are integrated.
The organization is run by a volunteer, racially representative Board of Trustees that includes ex officio representatives from both municipalities and the Board of Education. The Trustees chair committees staffed by community volunteers of varied races, faiths, and economic backgrounds who have an expressed commitment to achieving and sustaining the benefits of a thriving, racially integrated and truly inclusive community. Our programs and activities serve all the residents of our two towns as well as surrounding communities that seek our support and advice on intentional integration strategies.
Most of all, we are neighbors who love our towns and envision a community in which:
- Prospective buyers of all races are shown available homes and are welcomed in every part of the two towns. All neighborhoods are racially integrated, and there is a trend toward integration in surrounding communities as well.
- People of all races enjoy the benefits of participation in civic life and all community organizations encourage participation from under-represented groups.
- Interaction and participation in everyday activities reflect the racial mix of the community.
- The school district is stably integrated overall, within academic levels, and schools. Students of all races are expected and encouraged to excel in a community that is proud and supportive of its students.
- The leadership of civic, governmental, business, community and interfaith organizations is racially inclusive and values integration in policies, practices, programs and partnerships.