MAPLEWOOD, N.J. - Township officials will be honoring the transgender community this Sunday during a flag raising event.
Elected officials from Maplewood Township and the Township of South Orange Village are co-hosting the event to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility, a national day that celebrates the transgender community. International Transgender Day of Visibility is March 31.
The event will be held on Sunday, March 31, at 2 p.m., on the front steps and lawn at the Maplewood Municipal Building, 574 Valley St.
There will be speeches from several local leaders, a proclamation to honor International Transgender Day of Visibility, and a flag raising to show solidarity.
Maplewood Township holds events like this Sunday's flag raising to show support for the transgender community.
The township has held other similar events including a flag raising last October, which occurred at the same time other rallies were happening nationwide to boycott the Trump Administration’s proposed policies to roll-back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights laws.
And last year, a rainbow-stripped crosswalk was installed at the intersection of Valley Street and Oakview Road to symbolize the LGBTQ flag.
Here is a schedule for Sunday's event:
2 p.m.: Gathering.
2:10 p.m.: Welcome remarks by Dean Dafis (host) and hold for recognition of other elected officials
2:15 p.m.: Welcome remarks by Sheena Collum (co host) and hold for recognition of other elected officials.
2:20 p.m.: DD cue Shannon Cuttle; remarks by Shannon Cuttle (co-organizer).
2:25 p.m.: SC cue Cecilia Cranko & Joan Howlett (co organizers); remarks by Cecilia Cranko and Joan Howlett.
2:30 p.m.: DD cue Aaron Potenza. Remarks by Aaron Potenza.
2:35 p.m.: SC cue Gary Paul Wright. Remarks by Gary Paul Wright.
2:40 p.m. DD cue Robt (Robert) Seda-Schreiber. Remarks by Robt Seda-Schreiber.
2:45 p.m.: DD cue Laura Gilkey and Jan Kaminsky. Remarks by Laura Gilkey and Jan Kaminsky.
2:50 p.m.: Maplewood/South Orange TDOV Joint Proclamation reading (Frank McGehee and Sheena Collum).
2:55 p.m.: Flag raising
3 p.m.: End.
And the speakers are:
Victor De Luca - Mayor, Maplewood Township (host).
Frank McGehee - Deputy Mayor, Maplewood Township (host).
Dean Dafis - Committeemember, Maplewood Township Committee (host, organizer).
Sheena Collum - President, South Orange Village Township (co-host).
Shannon Cuttle - BOE, South Orange Maplewood School District - first transgender non binary elected to BOE in NJ, former educator and administrator, Safe Schools & Anti Bullying crusader (co-organizer).
Cecilia Cranko - trans activist (co-organizer).
Joan Howlett - trans activist (co-organizer).
Aaron Potenza - Director of Policy, Garden State Equality - transgender gay man, former educator in Gender Studies, historian, trans rights activist, legislative eagle in Trenton - behind recent groundbreaking LGBTQIA legislative victories.
Gary Paul Wright - Executive Director & Co-Founder, African American Office of Gay Concerns (Newark) - longtime LGBTQ activist, HIV/AIDS crusader, trans youth mentor, community builder.
Robt Seda-Schreiber - Chief Activist, Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice (Princeton) - safe space, community center, social & health services for trans youth and LGBTQIA community.
RAD Kids - safe space group for gender fluid kids in North Jersey (under auspices of North Jersey Pride).
Laura Gilkey - RAD Kids co-founder.
Jan Kaminsky - RAD Kids co-founder.
*The schedule of speakers is subject to change based on guest speaker availability.