On Jan. 16, Mayor Raymond Giacobbe, the Rahway City Council, and Rahway Social Justice Commission in partnership with the NAACP hosted the City of Rahway’s annual Martin Luther Kin, Jr. Day Celebration. The event began at MLK Park, located at Broad Street and Campbell Street, in Rahway. Newly elected New Jersey Congressman, Tom Kean Jr., participated in the unveiling of a new monument dedicated to the late civil rights leader.
At this year’s MLK Day Celebration, Mayor Giacobbe said, “I take great pride in seeing how diverse our community is and it is gratifying to see Dr. King’s words memorialized in a new monument. I’m grateful to the Rahway City Council, the Rahway Special Improvement District, Rahway Social Justice Commission, and our partners at the NAACP for making this event possible and honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as we work towards a brighter future.”
Following the unveiling of the monument, the ceremony concluded at the Rahway Recreation Center with Master of Ceremony Pastor Marti Robinson leading the opening prayer followed by a salute to the ﬂag and singing of the
Star-Spangled Banner and Lift Every Voice and Sing. Speakers included NAACP Rahway Branch President Lori Caughman, ESQ., Councilman at Large and Co-Chair of the Rahway Social Justice Commission Councilman Jeﬀrey Brooks and Union County Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados. Mayor Giacobbe presided over the swearing in of the NAACP Executive Committee including, President Lori Caughman, ESQ., Vice President Cynthia Goodman, Secretary Michelle Price, Treasurer Kashinda Marche, and Executive Committee Members the Rev. Dr. Marti Robinson, Dora James, Shakira Monet Johnson, Deborah N. Bridge and Deborah Rather Grumps.
“The annual MLK event serves as a great reminder of not only the incredible sacriﬁce of Dr. King but also the strides we’ve taken since the Civil Rights era to improve our society for all walks of life,” Councilman Brooks said. “It was encouraging to see so many members of our community come out to celebrate such an important day. There is still work to be done, but as Mayor Giacobbe said, we can accomplish anything as long as we work together.”
The stainless-steel monument came together through the work of Councilwoman Danielle Newbury and the Rahway Special Improvement District (SID). “Art Consultant Rachael Faillace, and Project Manager Joseph Skalla’s expertise and dedication to this project delivered a meaningful addition to the MLK Park. Rahway has always been a place where the arts thrive and it’s exciting to see our ﬁrst project of 2023 focus on the words of MLK Jr. that continue to inspire our work toward equality and justice,” Councilwoman Newbury said.
In addition to Congressman Kean Jr., the following oﬃcials were also in attendance: former Mayor of Rahway and current Assemblyman James Kennedy, Assemblywoman Linda Carter, Union County Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados, Vice Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded, Commissioner James Baker and Commissioner Bette Jane Kowalski, Rahway City Council Members President Michael Cox, Vice President Vannie Deloris Parson, Councilman Al Parker, Councilman Jeremy Mojica, Councilman Joseph Gibilisco, Councilman David Brown, and Councilman Jeﬀrey Brooks and Board of Education Superintendent Dr. Patricia Camp.