Community Government Maplewood Police and Fire Schools / Kids South Orange Towns

Students, Clergy, Police, Elected Officials Draft #NotInOurTwoTowns Pledge

#Notinourtwotowns pledge

South Orange and Maplewood NJ elected officials, clergy, law enforcement officers, business owners, civic organizations, students and residents have drafted a #NotInOurTwoTowns pledge.

The pledge, according to a message from Rabbi Jesse Olitzky of Congregation Beth El in South Orange, came out of a discussion between various town stakeholders at the South Orange-Maplewood Clergy Association meeting on Friday, July 8.

The pledge states that signers are committed to “ensuring that there is no place for systemic racism in our towns” and “facing and fixing local injustices whenever and wherever they exist” while “taking a stand against all forms of violence and do not affirm it under any circumstances.”

Notably, both the South Orange Police Department and Maplewood Police Department are listed as supporters of #NotInOurTwoTowns on its website, along with both townships, the Community Coalition on Race and major faith communities in the two towns.

#NotInOurTwoTowns was created by a group of five Columbia High School graduates: Sydney Scruggs (Class of 2013), Emanual Grant (’13), Felisha George (’12), Cory Hardy (’13) and Alfonso Spottswood (’13).

The group organized a protest march on July 7, followed by a candlelight vigil on July 8, as well as a community “sit down” at South Orange Middle School scheduled for tonight, July 12, at 6:30 p.m. at South Orange Middle School.

Read the pledge here and below:

We, the elected officials, clergy, law enforcement officers, business owners, civic organizations, students, and residents of South Orange and Maplewood pledge #NotInOurTwoTowns. We are committed to ensuring that there is no place for systemic racism in our towns, that no one is safe until everyone is safe. We commit to not judging others based on their physical appearances, and to facing and fixing local injustices whenever and wherever they exist because we also know that unresolved racism and injustice feed permissiveness and hopelessness which are breeding grounds for violence. We are committed to taking a stand against all forms of violence and do not affirm it under any circumstances. We recognize that while we are not all guilty, we are all responsible, and only together and united, can we ensure that bigotry, hate, and systemic racism has no place in South Orange or Maplewood – not in our two towns!

Join the following individuals who have already signed on to our pledge:

South Orange Village President Sheena Collum; Maplewood Mayor Victor De Luca; South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll; Rabbi Jesse Olitzky; Rev. Sandye Wilson; Rev. Dr. Bradford Motta; Rabbi Mark Cooper; Rabbi Daniel Cohen; Rabbi Alexandra Klein; Rev. Bernard Poppe; Rev. Terry Richardson; Rev. Rick Boyer; Rev. Molege Desir; Kellee Greene; Bonita Samuels; Vanessa Newman; Kathleen Morrison; Kenneth McLawrence; Alan L. Noel; Benjamin Linton; Patricia M. Henderson;
List is in progress…

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