As A Matter of Fact Newsletter

Special Edition: SOMSD Celebrates Pride Month

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SOMSD Celebrates Pride Month

Hello SOMSD Community,

In recognition of June as LGBTQ+ Pride month, I wanted to take a moment to share and express our School District and Board of Education commitment, appreciation, and support of our LGBTQ+ students, staff and families. The South Orange Maplewood School District welcomes, and supports all students, staff and families no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

As we have previously shared, we believe it to be our duty as educators to ensure the equity, inclusion and well-being of all our students, staff and families. We know when students have a welcoming positive school climate they have greater success in our classrooms and in our community. We know that our society is in desperate need of adults who are not only academically strong but also visible allies that build empathy and understanding. As Pride month is celebrated around the world, one way to create better understanding is to ensure that our students are exposed to the history of the many cultures, traditions, and accomplishments of groups throughout the world.

We are fortunate to work and live in a beautifully diverse community that at its best, values what we contribute. To that end, we are very happy to share with our District family a compilation of events gathered from the SOMSD community activities and resources to celebrate Pride Month throughout the month of June.

South Orange & Maplewood School District

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Upcoming SOMA Pride Local Events

To see all upcoming events, visit:

  • SOMA Equality March & Rally
    June 6 10:00am - Ricalton Square to Town Hall
    Maplewood Township, SOMA Action, SOMA Justice, Columbia High School

  • SOMA Youth Pride Picnic
    June 6 12:30pm - Springfield Ave Gazebo
    Maplewood Township, SOMA Action, SOMA Justice, Columbia High School

  • Big Queer Block Party
    June 18 7:00pm - Maplewood Village
    SOMA Justice, North Jersey Pride, Newark LGBT Community Center LINK
SOMSD SEL & Mental Health Resources for Students

Please view a list of mental health resources and support available to District students both internally and via external sources.

Pride Month Events & Resources

Fleet Feet Montclair’s Pride Stride: Montclair’s Pride Stride, is a four-day 5k walk and run event that begins and ends at Montclair Brewery on Walnut Street (where participants can order a free beer). It kicks off June 17 and runs through the 20th. The event is only open to 100 participants at a time, due to COVID-19 restrictions, according to the event website. There are virtual festivities, as well. Funds raised will benefit Out Montclair.

Pride in the Park Scotch Plains: Pride in the Park will happen at the Augustine Village Green on June 3 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will feature crafts, music and a flag-raising. Community support groups will be available.

Pride Night at FirstEnergy Park: The Jersey Shore Blueclaws minor league baseball team will host its second Pride Night at its game against the Brooklyn Cyclones on June 4. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the first 1,500 fans will receive a free baseball cap, according to the team’s website. Players will wear rainbow-themed jerseys.

North Jersey Pride Picnic began in 2011 with a picnic in the park. Some 150 people came to celebrate LGTBQ Pride...and a tradition was born. This year, after a (much too) long hiatus, we will again gather on the hill in Memorial Park to remind one another that nothing, not even a global pandemic, can stop our beautiful LGBTQ & Ally community from celebrating PRIDE!!!

Sun., June 13th @ 3PM

Memorial Park | Maplewood, NJ

You bring the picnic blankets, beach chairs and loved ones and we'll bring the music, food trucks and family fun! We'll be updating this page with the latest Covid-19 protocols so we can all stay safe as we CELEBRATE!!!

Be Allies to our LGBTQ+ Friends and Families

  • June 17, 7:30 p.m. – Virtual

  • CHS Spectrum Club, SOMA Two Towns for All Ages

Hilton Neighborhood Association

  • Virtual Pride 21 - Social Justice Power Hour

  • June 12, 7 p.m. – Virtual

  • Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice

Family Photo Day

  • June 26, 1 p.m. – Farrell Field

  • South Orange Village Center Alliance, South Orange Village

Drag Queen Bingo

  • June 27, 1 p.m. – Sloan Street

  • South Orange Village Center Alliance, South Orange Village


Join Local Pride Facebook Groups

To connect or to continue learning about the AAPI culture we encourage you to follow or join one of the groups below: