Elected officials in Maplewood and South Orange, in partnership with township departments, divisions, and organizations, join with local business districts to celebrate the achievements of women. The focus for 2021 is ‘Women Lifting Women’ which will be realized through more than 45 unique events including safe, socially distant and/or virtual concerts, performances, author events, exhibits, classes, fundraisers, drives, projects, and initiatives.

“We invite residents to celebrate our mothers, daughters, sisters, educators, first responders and frontline workers during these very challenging times,” said Maplewood Township Committeewoman Nancy Adams, “our two-town leadership is filled with support for the contributions of women throughout the years and especially today! Women are carrying the weight of the pandemic in “sheroic” ways: juggling their careers, families, homes, elderly parents, and their children’s education — which became virtual almost a year ago.”

Sheena Collum, first woman to hold the title of Village President in South Orange, is proud that despite the limitations due to the ongoing pandemic, SOMA will honor our women in a variety of ways. “Our goal is to elevate, empower, support and showcase women throughout our community—in the news, via zoom, and sprinkled in the windows of our brick and mortar businesses in our two towns.”

“When we reflect on the events of the past year, Women's History Month has taken on new meaning in 2021. With 55 percent of U.S. jobs lost in 2020 accounted for by women, COVID-19 has not only further exposed the pre-existing gender inequities that continue to exist in our society, the pandemic has deepened them. This cannot stand. We need women and girls to continue to lead and to thrive at all levels of our society and in our local community so that we do not run the risk of unwinding decades of hard-fought progress for generations to come.” – Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee

Highlights of events include: SHEROES, an exhibit of Female Essential Front-Line Workers; Windows-For-Women, two-town wide window gallery exhibition collaboration with 30+ female-owned SOMA businesses and 30 local female visual artists participating; ‘She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry’ Documentary Watch Party and Discussion with Columbia High School Current Events Club and POWER the Intersectional Feminism Club at CHS; Women’s History Month Day of Service: Food, Feminine Hygiene Products, and Women's Clothing Drive; and WOMEN IN MUSIC Virtual Chamber Music Concert with Members from South Orange Symphony and Garden State Philharmonic, from SOPAC and The Woodland, with generous support and sponsorship from Pollock Properties Group, Keller Williams Premier Properties, and Matt Kean Guaranteed Rate.

So that everyone may enjoy and participate in the events for 2021 with physical distancing and covid-19 guidelines established, the majority of events will take place online, via Zoom, in store windows, displays and installations. Detailed descriptions, updates and links can be found at www.somawomen.org. Weekly township email and social media campaigns will detail upcoming events.  #SOMACelebratesWomen

Women have played a critical role in leading, shaping, and enhancing our community, our country and humankind. Please join us as we celebrate Women's History in March and always!