ORANGE, NJ - Orange resident Fatimah Z. Turner brings more than 20 years of experience working with residents in low socio-economic communities to her appointment as a board member to the Orange Housing Development Corporation.

In her career, Turner has focused on issues such as low academic success, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, social injustices, teenage pregnancy, and inadequate housing that plague economically challenged communities. Through her research and experience, she learned that communities whose basic needs are not met have an extremely difficult time achieving social and academic success.  Currently, Turner is an adjunct professor at Essex County College where she teaches psychology, and developmental English and reading. Turner has served as director of social and emotional learning and director of Family Services for the Newark School System and later as a vice principal for a charter school in Jersey City, New Jersey.

In accepting her appointment, Turner quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “‘True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.’ As a member of the Orange Housing Development Corporation, I pledge to not just fling a coin to a beggar, but as Dr. King so eloquently quoted, to advocate for adjustments to oppressive systems and advocate for protections, and changes to social policies that disenfranchises and creates cycles of poverty in low income communities.”

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Turner holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Montclair State University, a master’s in social work from Rutgers University and a master’s in educational leadership from Concordia University. She is currently pursuing a PhD in family science and human development from Montclair State University with a concentration in Urban Studies.

As an OHDC board member, Turner will join her new colleagues in identifying and adopting core services when assessing distressed properties. They consider such issues as land management and entitlements, construction management, property acquisition, and asset management. The OHDC redeveloped the Walter G. Alexander Village that provides safe and affordable homes for seniors and neighborhood families, as well as mixed income renters. The site is 3.8-acres, bounded by Central Place, Parrow Street, Wilson Place and Oakwood Avenue.

“We are honored to have such a high caliber individual join as a board member,” said Dr. Walter McNeil, president of OHDC. “By means of her education and extensive experience, Fatimah Turner brings a thorough understanding of the needs and concerns of Orange residents. Most importantly, she has demonstrated a commitment and dedication to the well-being of her community.”   

About The Orange Housing Development Corporation

The Orange Housing Development Corporation (OHDC) was established by the Orange Housing Authority (OHA) to redevelop and rehabilitate OHA designated distressed real estate properties in the city of Orange. This initiative provides a quality of living for residents living in the city of Orange. OHDC has undertaken a variety of housing projects resulting in the rebirth of neighborhoods throughout the City of Orange.