May 2017: Lauretta Freeman

What is your birth date? December 24, 1922

Where were you born? Brooklyn, NYC

When did you move to Montclair? 1953

Why did you move to Montclair? A diverse community near NYC

Are you currently employed? If so, doing what? If you had a career, what was it? Career director of Montclair Cooperative School for 23 years. Currently employed by the NJ Health Department as a consultant to childcare centers to combat obesity in young children

How are you engaged in the community?
I worked with neighbors to stabilize Stephen Street: in the 1970s, realtors were blockbusting (trying to create panic among white residents about African Americans moving into the community). I initiated the call to resist the blockbusters. I’m also a member of the YMCA, which offers free memberships at 90 years of age; Public Policy Chair of the Township's Senior Citizens Advisory Committee (SCAC); Treasurer of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; and Public Policy Chair of the Essex/Hudson Chapter of the Association for Education of Young Children. I also facilitate the Current Events Discussion at the Montclair Library on the first Wednesday of the month and participate in folk dancing on Tuesday night at St. John's Episcopal Church.

What are some of the most important lessons you feel you have learned throughout your life? Live each day as though it's the first day of your life and as though it's the last day.

What is your mantra or words you live by? “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

What are your plans for future? How does Montclair fit into these plans?
I plan to keep living in Montclair

May 2017 Senior of the Month Lauretta Freeman