Two towns celebrate women’s history

SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Women officials in South Orange and Maplewood, in partnership with business districts, have launched, the official site of SOMA Celebrates Women’s History Month where residents from the two towns can learn about upcoming events and businesses can participate by submitting promotions and offerings for the month of March.

“Not only is more recognition of Women’s History Month long overdue,” Maplewood Township Committeewoman Nancy Adams said in a press release, “recognizing and appreciating all that women do for our communities and our world is especially long overdue and should be celebrated.”

In the current climate of women’s marches, the battle for equal pay and health care, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, Adams and South Orange Village President Sheena Collum decided it was a perfect time to kick off what is hoped to be an annual celebration of women.

Collum, who is the first woman to hold the title of village president in South Orange’s long history, said, “We’re surrounded by fierce females every day and don’t confuse our kindness for weakness. Our lineup of events aims to combine empowerment, education and entertainment, and hopefully we’ll end the month having built stronger relationships with one another.” She joked, “Oh, and we eat Doritos out of the bag — hear us crunch!”

Adams and Collum are joined on the steering committee by South Orange Village Trustees Deborah Davis Ford and Karen Hilton, Springfield Avenue Partnership Executive Director Julie Doran, Maplewood Village Alliance Executive Director Deb Yohannan, and South Orange Village Center Alliance Executive Director Bob Zuckerman. The preliminary lineup of events includes:

  • “Wear White for Women,” a group photo, on Saturday, March 3, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Maplewood Memorial Park Amphitheater;
  • An International Women’s Day cocktail celebration on Thursday, March 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. at South Mountain Tavern, 19 Valley St. in South Orange;
  • “Maise Brews a Business – 1920s Tea Rooms” on Sunday, March 11, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Durand-Hedden House, 523 Ridgewood Road in Maplewood;
  • “Women’s Empowerment: Shattering the Glass Ceiling” on Sunday, March 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Burgdorff Center, 10 Durand Road in Maplewood; and
  • A “Hidden Figures” movie night on Saturday, March 24, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the South Orange Performing Arts Center Loft, 1 SOPAC Way; pre-registration is required.

To learn more, visit, use the official hashtag #SomaCelebratesWomen, and join the SOMA Celebrates Women Facebook Group at