Community Coalition on Race Grows with New Trustees and Chairman

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The following is from The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race


The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race is pleased to announce that there are two new trustees on the executive committee and five new members. Robert A. Marchman and Indira Singh are new to the executive committee, joined by Leila Gonzalez Sullivan, Len Grossman, David Harris and Sue Willis. New trustees include Victoria Calle, Nina Essel, Dean Kostas, Erin Scherzer and Peri Smilow. The growth of the organization is a testament to SOMA’s dedication to achieving and sustaining the benefits of a thriving, racially integrated and truly inclusive community that serves as a model for the nation.

Nancy Gagnier, Executive Director, South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race shared, “The Coalition looks to bring on new trustees as needed each year to create a board that is racially representative of the community, has members from both towns and includes a variety of interests and skills. The new trustees for 2017 bring a wealth of talents and broad community connections that help make us a true ‘community coalition.'”

Robert A. Marchman, the new Chairman of the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race said, “I am honored to have received the trust and support of the trustees in my election as Chairman of this important organization. I look forward to working with the diverse, talented and dedicated group of individuals elected to the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, as well as existing Trustees. Without a doubt, 2017 will be a challenging year for us given the divisive discourse in our nation. Our task, and I believe this committed group of volunteers and dedicated staff are up to it, is to consistently demonstrate in word and deed why the values embraced in these two great communities are beneficial to not only those who live here, but also to all in this nation, regardless of who she or he may be. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, ‘Great leaders do not seek consensus but rather mold consensus.’ We look forward to molding a consensus of thought and action that will lead to a better tomorrow for us all.”

About the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race

The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race is celebrating 21 years of being 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. Three key strategies were developed: promote strong and sustained robust demand by all racial groups for housing in every area of our community; build a community where the leadership of civic, governmental, business and community organizations is racially inclusive and values integration in policy and practice; and promote dialogue and understanding on race-related issues. To learn more, go to and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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