News from the Somerset County Board of County Commissioners

Shanel Y. Robinson, Commissioner Director Ÿ Doug Singleterry, Commissioner Deputy Director

Sara Sooy, Commissioner Ÿ Melonie Marano, Commissioner Ÿ Paul M. Drake, Commissioner


Somerset County Seeks Local Community Groups with Diversity-Related Missions for Festival on Oct. 15


SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerset County Board of Commissioners invites community groups and organizations that have a mission to raise awareness about or advocate for an ethnic, cultural, or underrepresented group to participate in the 2023 Diversity Festival on Sunday, Oct. 15, from 12 to 4 p.m. The festival will take place in Somerville on Grove and Main Streets and is a free, public, outdoor event for people of all ages featuring activities, entertainers and food from cultures reflecting the county’s diverse population. This venue is ideal for community groups to network, promote their mission and solicit new members. There is no charge to participate in the festival.

The primary purpose of the festival is to educate communities about the county’s unique cultures and lifestyles, so residents can gain a better understanding and greater acceptance of others’ differences.  When selecting exhibitors, Somerset County will prioritize community groups and non-profit organizations whose missions align with the festival’s goals.


Criterion for Organizations and Groups

The Diversity Committee is seeking community organizations/groups with a mission to provide resources and/or advocate, represent, and educate communities about one of the many diverse groups of people vibrantly connected in Somerset County.

Ideal participants should have displays and materials showcasing how their organization is promoting:

  • Diversity
  • Equity and inclusion
  • Opportunities for underrepresented communities having access barriers or other challenges making it difficult for them to engage in community services


The Diversity Festival Committee will screen organizations and give preference to those with goals and objectives that align with the mission and goals of Somerset County and the Diversity Festival. Note:

  • Exhibitors must provide their display tables, chairs and canopies (optional)
  • Attendance is voluntary, and exhibitors will not receive payment
  • Arrival time is 11:30 a.m., and exhibitors must stay until 4 p.m.
  • Hold harmless agreements must be signed, and proof of insurance should be submitted at least a week before the event
  • Community groups cannot sell services or goods as part of their displays
  • Exhibitors are encouraged to include activities and games to make their tables interactive

Exhibitors will display on Grove Street, Veterans Plaza and the courthouse lawn. Space is limited, so organizations should register as soon as possible.

For more information about participating in the Diversity Festival, contact Kim Cowart at 908-541-5756 or email

History of the Somerset County Diversity Festival

The first annual Diversity Festival was launched in 2019 to honor Global Diversity Awareness Month and to embrace and celebrate diversity. The festival was also part of a broader Somerset County government initiative to foster greater awareness about diversity among its employees and the county’s residents and to show support for multicultural communities. The festival attracted more than 500 attendees.


About Diversity in Somerset County

The Somerset County Board of Commissioners embraces and commits to a philosophy of inclusion that respects the cultural norms of the citizens and taxpayers, current employees, and the future of Somerset County Government as a place of employment. The Board of Commissioners believes the commitment to embracing diversity is crucial for providing county services and making vibrant connections.

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