WAYNE, NJ - The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges is partnering with several community organizations and professionals to bring a series of educational programs to the community that promote positive engagement and inclusion.

With support from the non-profit organization Welcoming America, the Y is able to offer these virtual programs at no cost to all, including Y members and non-members. Welcoming America leads a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by making everyone feel like they belong. 

"We hope that participants in the series come to understand how intergroup contact can be one of the best ways to improve relations among groups experiencing conflict,” said Laura Tiedge, Executive Director at the Wayne YMCA, which is coordinating the events.

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“Participants will be educated and equipped with the knowledge and/or skills to understand and navigate conflict and unrest and hopefully develop a willingness to ‘cross the street’ and engage with those they do not typically work together with and become involved in making positive change in the communities we share,” Tiedge said.

The series kicks off on Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. with the program from the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence entitled, “Anger as a Voice for Change.” The interactive webinar will explore anger’s relationship to other emotions; skills to process and harness the energy of anger; and ways to relate to anger in others.

Other planned events include:

  • Nov. 12: Conflict Styles and Conflict Approaches by professional conflict resolution trainer Glenda Gutierrez

  • Nov. 17: What does it mean to be an ally?

  • Nov. 18: Bias Crime/Incident Symposium for Community Partners

  • Nov. 24: Wayne Interfaith Network Thanksgiving

  • Dec. 8: Prevention and Understanding Substance Abuse

  • Dec. 10: Starting the Conversation About Social Media with your Children

  • Dec. 15 & 17: Compassionate Conversations with Kim Loh 

For more details about the programs and to register, visit metroymcas.org.



Established in 1885, the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges invests in its diverse communities to promote wellness, safety and quality of life for children, adults and seniors. Its seven branches in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Hackensack, Hardyston, Stillwater and Wayne are committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility through an array of programs. Some 35,000 people belong to the Metro Y, which awards more than $2.8 million annually in direct and indirect financial assistance.