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Maretta Short. (Photo: Maretta Short via Facebook).

Maretta Short, former NOW-NJ president, dies at 72

By David Wildstein, December 26 2022 4:51 pm

Maretta Short, who became the first Black president of the National Organization of Women’s New Jersey chapter in 2007, has died.  She was 72.

Short became involved in politics in 1984, working as the Ramapo College student coordinator for Rev. Jesse Jackson’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.  She ran in the primary election as a candidate for delegate to Democratic National Convention pledged to Jackson in the 39th legislative district but was unsuccessful.

Later, Short became the co-host of a radio show, Joy of Resistance, on WBAI 95.5 in New York and was a founder of the Essex County Chapter of Women of Color and Allies.   She was elected NOW-NJ vice president in 1997 and became spokesperson for the organization in the early 2000s.

Short was defeated in her bid for re-election in 2011 by Rita Spaulding, a Moorestown public school teacher who led the South Jersey NOW-Alice Paul Chapter.

“Maretta experienced racism early and throughout her life and specifically came to preach that racism is, and always has been, a women’s issue,” said Jill LaZare, the acting president of NOW-NJ.  “Maretta was a fighter, the kind of fighter needed more today than ever in the women’s movement. She will be missed.”

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