WEST ORANGE, NJ — The West Orange African Heritage Organization (WOAHO)—a community service organization that striving to build a stronger community by bridging cultural differences and celebrating the achievements of those of African descent—is hosting its next general meeting on Wednesday, March 20 in the West Orange High School (WOHS) library from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The theme of the upcoming meeting, which is one of only four held throughout a year, is "Spring into Action with the West Orange African Heritage Organization" and will feature real estate agent Gloria Perez of Jordan Baris Inc and attorney Kevin Malanga.
Perez will discuss property value and the process of the tax appeal while Malanga talks about Open Space and the pros and cons for redevelopment in West Orange, specifically as it relates to the potential purchase of the Rock Spring Golf Club and the potential relocation of the West Orange Public Library. The meeting will also feature Tom Puryear, president of the NAACP, who will talk about ways to improve the experience of students of color within the West Orange Public Schools district.
WOAHO President Althia Tweiten, a resident of West Orange since 1976 and a former schoolteacher, hopes to reach the community with topics that "will interest the town folk" as she continues her first year as president.
In addition to the general meetings—which are usually held on the third Wednesday of March, June, December and November—the WOAHO also avails itself to the West Orange community by holding several programs throughout the year.
For more than 20 years, WOAHO has been best known for its long-running elementary school tutoring program, which is currently in five schools, as well as the Thomas W. Holcomb, Sr. Scholarship, which plans to disburse $7,000 to outstanding college bound WOHS seniors.
In the future, Tweiten hopes to cater to the diverse population of West Orange by providing resources and a workshop to parents hailing from Spanish-speaking, French-speaking, Creole-speaking, or African language-speaking countries among others in order “to walk them through the [West Orange] school system.”
Twieiten looks forward to seeing new members of all ages and local business join the WOAHO and support the upcoming community service initiatives and events that are being planned for the year.
The upcoming general meeting is free to the community and refreshments will be served.