Religions and Spirituality

Rally Held in South Orange's Spiotta Park to Urge Sanctuary Status and to Stand with Immigrant and Muslim Communities

L to R: South Orange Village Trustees Deborah Davis Ford and Walter Clarke, and South Orange Village President Sheena Collum.
Kelly Quirk, one of the organizers of the rally.
Maplewood Mayor Vic De Luca
Ashraf Latif, Emir of NIA Masjid in Newark
Ashraf Latif, Emir of NIA Masjid in Newark
Khalil Muhammad, Professor of Race, History, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government
Rabbi Dan Cohen and Rabbi Mark Cooper

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - A crowd of more than 200 people gathered in Spiotta Park at 5 p.m. on Tuesday evening, Feb. 6, to urge the Township of South Orange to pass a resolution that it a sanctuary city, and as organizers explained, "to stand with immigrant and Muslim communities." 

Kelly Quirk, one of the rally organizers, spoke to the crowd first, stating, “we are here tonight asking the Trustees in South Orange, particularly on the Legal and Personnel Committee, to make South Orange a sanctuary community for all. We stand in solidarity with our immigrant communities, both documented and undocumented, and urge the South Orange Board of Trustees to declare the Township of South Orange a Sanctuary City.”

Quirk also stated that those assembled stand with the "twenty-percent of our community who are foreign born," adding that no one should be targeted because they “look, sound, or worship differently." 

Sign Up for E-News

Several speakers addressed the crowd, expressing concern for local refugees and also sharing personal stories about how the recent executive order regarding travel from seven countries has impacted their families.

Maplewood Mayor Vic De Luca said he was “happy to join hundreds of SOMA and other folks rallying for South Orange to join other towns in safeguarding the rights of undocumented immigrants. The police will do their normal job, but will not be involved in implementing ICE rules for deportation of law abiding people."

Other towns considering adopting Maplewood's resolution (Resolution No. 3-17, "Expressing Maplewood's Commitment to Equal, Respectful, and Dignified Treatment of All People, Regardless of their Immigration Status and to Remain a Welcoming Community), are Madison, Highland Park, Livingston and Roselle, said De Luca.

Sheena Collum, South Orange Village President, addressed the crowd, stating, “we are with you, and are just starting the fight." Collum was accompanied to the microphone by South Orange Village Trustees Deborah Davis Ford and Walter Clarke, who are both members of the Legal and Personnel Committee,

Also present at the rally were South Orange Village Trustees Steve Schnall and Jeff DuBowy  Collum stated that the Legal and Personnel Committee would be checking to enusre that the proclamation is crafted with legal issues in mind, and with protections for South Orange. Collum added that she was looking forward to seeing the South Orange residents at the Legal and Personnel Committee meeting, which took place directly following the rally.

Ashraf Latif, a South Orange resident of 28 years and the Emir of NIA Masjid in Newark, spoke at the rally about raising his four children in South Orange. He related that one of his daughters called him to ask that South Orange provide sanctuary for all its residents.

Latif said, "stand up firmly for justice, it’s not a choice. It comes only from love. It is a shared humanity regardless of one's background. No one is above justice, no one is excluded."

The rally concluded and the group marched towards the meeting of the Personnel and Legal Committee at the Baird while chanting, “No Wall, No Ban."

Read more at: South Orange Legal and Personnel Committee Discuss Sanctuary City Resolution

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News



AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Motor Vehicle Thefts Reported, One Recovered

May 16, 2018

May 7 - Burglary; Sometime during the prior two days, entry was forced to a business on Newark Way.  The keys to a GMC van were then taken from inside the business and the van was stolen.


May 7 - Motor Vehicle Theft; At approximately 9:30 p.m., a Jeep left unattended and running in the parking lot of 7-11 on Irvington Ave was stolen. The vehicle was later recovered in ...

South Orange Police Blotter - More Than 10 Vehicle Burglaries Reported

South Orange Police Blotter as of May 14

Auto Theft - A Roland Ave resident reported that sometime between 10:30 pm, Thursday 5-10-18 & 7:30 am, Friday 5-11-18 actor(s) unknown stole his vehicle (2016 Mitsubishi), which was parked in his driveway of his residence at the time.

Burglary to Auto - A Vose Ave resident reported that sometime between 10:45 pm, Wednesday 5-2-18 & 8:00 ...

South Orange Community Pool Will Not Be Open Memorial Day Weekend; Opening Day Planned for June 2

May 20, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The South Orange Community Pool will have a delayed season opening, and will not be open Memorial Day Weekend, according to an update from the Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

According to the Recreation Department, "weather issues, both the early spring snow and the ongoing spring rain, have caused delays in the construction project underway to ...

Annual MayFest Street Fair is this Sunday in Maplewood

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - This Sunday is the annual MayFest Street Fair celebration in Maplewood with live music, performances on two stages, and the chance to meet the artists who created the new Springfield Avenue murals, as well as to experience a "mural painting in progress," according to event organizers.

The festivities take place on Springfield Avenue on Sunday, May 20, from 11 ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, May 23, 12:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

The Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living

Education Religions And Spirituality


Wed, May 23, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Fri, May 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Fri, May 25, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Uniacke Named Bridges Outreach Executive Director as Bhatt, Tulloch Announce Retirement

May 18, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ - Bridges Outreach, Inc. Executive Director Lois Bhatt and Deputy Executive Director Bethany Tulloch have announced their retirement and, effective May 29, Richard J. Uniacke will begin his tenure as the Summit-based nonprofit's new Executive Director.

Uniacke, who will become just the organization's third executive director in three decades, was ...

Bus Accident in Livingston Kills One Wednesday

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Livingston police are investigating a fatal bus accident in the township Wednesday afternoon.

The police department has confirmed a death in the accident, which occurred shortly before 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of Latham Court and South Orange Avenue.

As of 4:30 p.m., detectives were still on the scene investigating the crash. A full report has not yet been released ...

DAWN of a New Day: New Treatment Insights Shared at Atlantic Health's 18th Annual 'Stroke Symposium'

May 21, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Time is of the essence when it comes to identifying and treating symptoms of stroke and it’s widely accepted that the sooner treatment is provided the better the outcome will be, however new research suggests that all hope isn’t lost for certain types of stroke victims whose symptoms aren’t treated until later in time after last being seen as ...

Former Saks Building Discussed at Special Springfield Planning Board Meeting

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - The regularly held monthly Planning Board meeting included a special discussion on the Saks Fifth Avenue property along Millburn Avenue bordering Millburn.

A nearly two-decade long lawsuit has been dropped on this nine-acre property.  Experts believe this property has the potential to generate sizable revenue for Springfield and increase home ...

Career Change for Working Moms Presentation at Millburn Library

May 21, 2018

The Millburn Free Public Library is pleased to offer a program on changing careers for working moms, presented by local career coach Tracey Gutierrez. This program will be held on Thursday, June 14 at 7:00pm.

Are you looking for a career change that better fits the lifestyle you want? Do you leave your children every day to slog away at a job you don't enjoy? You CAN escape from an unhappy ...

Third Annual South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl is Sunday, May 20

The South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl is back!

On Sunday, May 20, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the South Orange Village Center Alliance hosts its third annual South Orange Food Stroll & Pub Crawl, a tasting event that showcases the diverse restaurants and unique retailers in our Village Center.

With the purchase of a wristband, you'll stroll and sample delectable bites and ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - May 18 to May 24

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:          

Strawberry Banana Smoothie  $4.25 (Bakery)
Chicken Cutlet $7.99lb (Prep Food)
Turkey Hero $5.99 (Deli)
Juicy Juice 8pk  2/$5*
Friendly’s Ice Cream $3.99
Notre Dame Brie $6.99lb (Cheese)
Monkfish $9.99 ...