SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race is hosting its 20th annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance and luminary project on Monday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m. This year’s event will be shared virtually via YouTube Live at https://youtu.be/hkh36SYKLm8. Everyone is welcome to participate; no account is needed.
At a time when the nation is simultaneously battling COVID-19, economic challenges, and racial injustices and inequities, the Community Coalition on Race’s goal for this year’s observance is to instill hope and sustain resilience locally. So, the MLK Planning Committee has chosen “Community in Times of Challenge and Controversy” as the theme for this year.
Together, the community will reflect on and celebrate the spontaneous events, expanded programs, social justice protests and rallies, and other efforts that held South Orange and Maplewood together throughout 2020. The virtual format will feature reflections on King’s legacy shared by Andrea McChristian, law and policy director at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, along with a Columbia High School Special Dance Company performance, jazz by Gregory Buford’s School of Music, spoken word and premier videos.
Traditionally, attendees sing “We Shall Overcome” together. This year, the singing will be led virtually by the MLK community chorus. The observance will end with an invitation for the SOMA community to light luminaries outside at sunset at 4:45 p.m. following the program as a symbol of solidarity with Dr. King’s Beloved Community. To purchase luminaries, send an email to MLKLuminaryProject@mail.com.
For more information about the Community Coalition on Race, visit www.communitycoalitiononrace.org.