SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD: Social Justice Matters (SJM) invites the community to an open and honest discussion entitled “What if Trayvon Martin was your Son?”to be held on Tuesday April 10th at 7:00 pm at The Stage House Tavern, Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ.

SJM member, Amy Carow states, “The murder of Trayvon Martin is a tragedy, a disgrace, and a wake-up call for all of us. The issues raised in various articles are some of the things we explore through multi-racial conversations at Social Justice Matters in SPF.”

Social Justice Matters is a community group that was formed in 2009 in response to an offensive and potentially inflammatory flyer that was distributed on the lawns and driveways of residents of Scotch Plains and Fanwood. The organization identified on the flyer was The League of American Patriots. A review of the organization’s website discloses a bias against diversity that was deemed not welcome in this community.

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The Scotch Plains- Fanwood Ministerium, an organization of clergy and community leaders in our community, convened a meeting at St. Johns Baptist Church on June 4, 2009. Led by a representative from the U.S. Justice Department, a group of approximately 20 members of the SPF community engaged in small-group discussions about our individual backgrounds and personal feelings about race.

A follow up meeting was held at Temple Sholom on September 17, 2009. Some “Ground Rules” were set to create a safe space for discussion. The group then discussed specific current events and real-life situations, and ended the meeting with the distribution of “stems” for stimulating thought and conversation

Throughout 2010, a core group met and planned the future of the committee and they decided to be organized as Social Justice Matters. Their mission is to be committed to achieving greater social justice by exploring the values, opportunities and challenges arising from  our diverse communities.

Members of SJM are residents of Scotch Plains and Fanwood who have come together to discuss issues of race, ethnicity, and social justice.  They believe that by engaging in truthful conversations about prejudices and preconceptions, they can build the base for a better world - one person, one group, one community at a time.

On Saturday, April 21, Social Justice Matters will present “A Conversation with  Reverend Philip Newell-Untold Stories of the Civil Rights Era” at a 12 pm luncheon at The Chelsea followed by informal discussion.  Dr. Rev Newell will share his stories and involvement with the grass roots civil rights organizations of the 1960s, including the March on Washington in 1963 and his efforts in Mississippi in 1964.


For both of these events, please RSVP to Linda Caminiti on 908-654-5200.