West Orange Human Relations Commission Presents 'Foundation for Dreaming'

January 20, 2014 at 7:51 PM

WEST ORANGE, NJ – The West Orange Human Relations Commission presented its annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebratory event at the Life Christian Church on Monday. The program, entitled “A Foundation for Dreaming,” featured comments by Mayor Robert Parisi, musical performances, guest speaker Dr. Michael Reynolds, and recognition of West Orange residents for the embodiment of Dr. King’s spirit in their daily lives.

HRC Commissioner Patrecia West emceed the event, which was attended by residents, family, and friends of the honorees. Township council members Susan McCartney, Victor Cirilo, Jerry Guarino, Joe Krakoviak and Patty Spango were also present.

Parisi spoke of his parents, who grew up poor in Newark, yet taught their children to follow Dr. King’s dream to not judge others by the the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Sign Up for E-News

“West Orange is a work in progress,” he noted. "I believe Dr. King would be pleased with what he saw, but we must move from being a 'diverse' community to 'one' community.”

Board of Education President Sandra Mordecai said that dreams do come true, but we “still have work to do.” She mentioned that Martin Luther King’s birthday has also become a “Day of Service” for organizations across the country.

Musical performances included West Orange High School student Andrew Scheib, who performed U2’s “In the Name of Love,” and the Howard Hall Trio, which performed “The Impossible Dream" and “Keep On Pushing.” 

West Orange student Soham K. Bhatnagar read excerpts from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Guest Speaker, Dr. Michael Reynolds, Affiliated Professor of Practical Theology and Sociology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, discussed how phenotypes (the set of observable characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment) caused division between races. He said that the reality, however, is that genetically, we are all much more similar than we realize. DNA shows that we are 99.9% alike, and the .01% difference shows that we are actually closer genetically to races other than our own.

In referencing Dr. King, Dr. Reynolds noted “all men (really) are created equal.”

Local West Orange Residents Elaine and Edgar Bury, Dawn Christian and Jo-Ann Raines, Deiredra Oliver and Karien Ziegler were then recognized for their efforts to fulfill Dr. King’s dream in their daily lives, careers, and volunteer efforts. 

To read about the honorees, click here.

Council President Sue McCartney shared news of the townwide picnic and street fair to be held along Main Street on June 7.

The event concluded with the Human Relations Commission’s announcement of its new initiative, “Living in our Diverse Communities,” a five-week workshop that will begin in late spring. Described by Councilman Victor Cirilo, the program is open to the community and residents are encouraged to sign up.

For more information on "Living in our Diverse Communities," visit the WOHRC website.




TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Montclair Residents Fill Buses Bound for Women's March on Washington

January 22, 2017

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Hundreds of Montclair and surrounding areas residents loaded onto buses during the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, Jan. 21 headed for Washington, DC.

Buses chartered by several organizations and individuals, including Montclair-based Blue WaveNJ left from the campus of Montclair High School at about 4:00 a.m. There was an air of excitement as ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, January 23, 6:30 PM

West Orange Public Library, West Orange

West Orange Preschool Fair



Mon, January 23, 6:30 PM

West Orange Public Library, West Orange

West Orange Preschool Fair 1/23

Community Calendar Education


Wed, January 25, 6:30 PM

The Newark Club - Metropolitan Room, Newark

ACG NJ Joint Super Networking Party, January 25th ...

Arts & Entertainment Business & Finance Food & Drink

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 19, 2017

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address some two of the major themes.

(Q) The election ...

Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills Presents: Murder Mystery Dinner in Livingston

January 21, 2017

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills (JLOSH), an organization of women developed as civic and community leaders creating lasting community impact, is hosting a Murder Mystery Dinner on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at Cedar Hill Country Club, 100 Walnut Street, in Livingston.

Event attire is cocktail and complimentary valet parking will be ...

Andy’s Family Music Showcases Shayne Apple on Guitar

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Andy’s Family Music Center of Livingston is proud to highlight Shayne Apple, a fifth grader at Riker Hill Elementary School with an aptitude for drums.

Shayne also plays trombone in the school band and participates in the school choir. According to his mother, Sharon, Shayne was inspired to pick up guitar not long after his father decided to learn the same ...

Step Right Up

Let’s make America the Greatest Show on Earth Again.


I was very sad to learn that after 146 years of big-top entertainment the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding its tent and leaving town.


This comes a year after the circus, due to mounting pressures from animal rights activists, got rid of the elephants.


It is not really ...