Task Force Against Discrimination Meeting - 12/15/2022 - Observer Report
TASK FORCE AGAINST DISCRIMINATION- 12/15/22
LWVM Observer: Shari Pressman
Members Present (via Zoom): Diane Gora (co-chair), Helaine Hazlett (co-chair), Police Chief Dennis King (ex-officio), Sarai Miller, Candice Sliney, Reece Dahlberg, Celia Sliney (student rep.), Deacon John (Joe) Whipple
Guest: Louis Meyi (liaison to Racial Justice Team)
1. Helaine introduced Sarai Miller, the newest member of TFAD. Sarai was born in Mexico City and has worked internationally as a technology consultant. She was motivated to apply for membership on TFAD by an incident outside at Vinnin Square. She was with her one-year-old child and her mother when the occupants of a vehicle yelled a hateful slur at her and flashed a white supremacy gesture. The incident was reported to police. Sarai returned to Vinnin Square later that day, telling the task force that she refused to be intimidated.
2. Chief King reported that no hate/bias incidents have been reported locally, though there has been a rise in antisemitic and LGBTQ hate crimes both nationally and internationally
He and the Marblehead Police Department have been in communication and increased patrols that may be targeted, such as synagogues
Every MPD officer, with some from other towns, attended what Chief King called a “great” Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) training session at the end of October at Temple Emanuel; the police department also works closely with the ADL
Chief King also noted that 213 police officers have been killed in the line of duty this year in the United States, 60 by gunfire; in the Colorado Springs shooting, he suggested that if not for one officer, the death toll could have been much higher
3. Reece noted that the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs took place on the eve of Transgender Remembrance Day. She and Chris Buell will work on a statement to be approved by TFAD members and submitted for publication in local media outlets
4. Helaine reported that International Holocaust Remembrance Day will be observed at Temple Emanuel at their Shabbat evening service on Friday evening, January 27, 2023 at 6:00pm. Select Board member Moses Grader will be a guest speaker. The Ministerial Association will be notified and the public is invited.
5. Celia and Diane reported that no incidents have been reported at the schools.
After vacation, seminars will be presented on LGBTQ+, Antisemitism, and Black Resistance, including the four levels of racism
On November 14, Students commemorated then-six-year-old Ruby Bridges, the first African American child to desegregate an all-white elementary school in New Orleans. Barbara Henry, who is now ninety and lives in the Boston area, was her white teacher and the only person willing to remain in the building and be Ruby’s teacher. Helaine suggested contacting Ms. Henry to speak at next year’s commemoration.
6. A decision on a book choice for February vacation was postponed.
7. TFAD was created by the Select Board but receives no funding from the town. Joe and Candice will submit a proposal to members of TFAD, and if approved, to Finance Committee for an appropriation to cover the costs of Pride Day, Juneteenth, Holocaust Remembrance Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
8. Publicity for the two open seats as student representatives to TFAD will begin in January.
9. Louis Meyi reported the Racial Justice Team’s monthly “Conversations on Race” series, formerly at Abbot Library, are now held at the Marblehead Museum at least until the renovations at the library are completed. The January speaker will be the director of the Lynn Museum. He also reported that “Information Boards” will be posted at selected historic locations in Marblehead
The next Task Force Against Discrimination is scheduled for Thursday, January 12, 2023 at 7pm