Skip to main content

Task Force Against Discrimination Meeting - 6/1/23 - OBSERVER REPORT

TASK FORCE AGAINST DISCRIMINATION    6-1-23 via Zoom  - Meeting not recorded

LWVM Observer:  Shari Pressman


Members in Attendance:  Helaine Hazlett, Deacon John Whipple, Chris Buell, Scott Marcus, Candice Sliney, Reece Dahlberg, Diane Gora, Kim Gubelman

Update on Marblehead Police Department:   Chief Dennis King couldn’t attend in person but left message for Helaine. No new incidents to report; MPD is helping with Pride Day and working with the ADL.

Report on Marblehead Public Schools:  Candice reported that Team Harmony was able to reach all 3rd grades and, for the first time, students at MHS. They didn’t get to Veterans or Village this year because of scheduling. Candice believes visit dates should be handled by administrators with the dates confirmed for schools early in the school year. She would like to focus first on MHS, then Veterans.  “Times have changed. (Team Harmony) is more important than ever” she noted.

Juneteenth Celebration is scheduled for Wednesday, June 14 on Abbot Hall grounds beginning at 4:30. Emcees are TFAD student reps Celia Sliney and Helina Tadesse. Greg Coles will open the program with African Drumming and Storytelling, followed by speakers Jackie Belf-Becker, Select Board member; Nicole McClain, director of the North Shore Juneteenth Association (NSJA); student poet Damilola Graciella Olabisi; MHS students speaking about “A World with Justice” and the Reverend Andre Bennett, Pastor of Youth and Young Adults at Zion Baptist Church in Lynn.  The Black National Anthem will be sung by Tanya Crowell.  Organizers Candice and Diane report that flyers are ready at schools and will be posted in other locations.  Juneteenth is presented in conjunction with NSJA and funded by a $1000 grant.

Update on Marblehead Pride Day:  Reece announced plans for the program beginning at 3:00 on June 3 on Abbot Hall grounds.  Select Board members Jackie Belf-Becker and Alexa Singer, Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Buckey, State Rep.  Jenny Armini, Rev. James Bixby, pastor of Clifton Lutheran Church and co-chair of MRJT, 6th grade teacher Natalie Belli and a representative from the LGBTQ+ community will speak. The Jeweltones, MHS’s a capella chorus will perform.

The Beacon Restaurant, 123 Pleasant St, will hold a Pride Celebration fundraiser on Sunday, June 4 from 4:00pm “until the dancing ends”. 

Update on Marblehead Festival of Arts:  Chris, Kim and Reece designed an orb (like an ornament) and created it at Hestia Products to represent TFAD at the festival. The orbs will be hidden in various locations in town and displayed on social media sites when they’re found.

Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15):  A motion was made and passed unanimously supporting Helaine and Sarai going before the Select Board to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month in Marblehead with a proclamation.

Update from Marblehead Racial Justice Team: Liaisons Louis Meyi and Jay Morrison:  Conversations on Race will end its yearlong programming at 7:00, Monday evening, June 26 at the Marblehead Museum with “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”.  Panelists will speak about how working for racial justice has changed and what they see for the future. 

Portraits of Harriet Tubman and John Lewis were installed at Glover School on May 5.  All students were present.  The 1st graders sang, according to Jay, a “very moving” rendition of several songs. The portraits will be reinstalled annually at each school in town.

Negro Election Day will be celebrated on the third Saturday in July (July 15) with a parade to The Willows in Salem. Candice thanked Lindsay Smith, from MRJT for her help reaching youth.

Next meeting: Thursday, July 13 at 7:00 p