At its meeting on Wednesday, October 27 the Wellesley Select Board shared a statement reaffirming its anti-bias and anti-racism commitment. The full statement is below.
Wellesley Select Board Statement from October 27, 2021
In light of recently reported incidents that have saddened and divided our community, the Wellesley Select Board is reaffirming our anti-bias and anti-racism commitment. Last February, the Board adopted a statement opposing unequivocally any expression of hate, prejudice, intolerance, or discrimination toward any individual or group. Once again, we want to publicly condemn any form of racism, discrimination, or intolerance as a threat to the safety and well-being of the public and express our on-going commitment to engaging the Town on race, equity, and inclusion through broad and collaborative efforts.
As the Chief Executive of the Town, we recognize our responsibility to address bias, racism, or any instances that divide our community, not only with words but also with actions. Since the spring of this year, we have been supporting and participating in several initiatives aimed at building an equitable and inclusive community:
- The Wellesley Civil Discourse Initiative is working to create open and inclusive public conversations that lead to greater understanding and stronger community connections, and to lay the groundwork for broader public engagement in decision-making. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Wellesley Freedom Team is a volunteer team formed to support residents, businesses, customers, or visitors who have experienced incidents of hate and bias in our community. The Freedom Team provides a confidential and respectful space to air concerns and to help develop actionable steps to resolve situations for victims, and offers both victims and witnesses a listening ear, support, recourse, and/or opportunity for reconciliation. The Freedom Team can be contacted by email at WellesleyFreedomTeam@gmail.com or by calling its 24-hour Hotline at 339-216-0124.
- The Wellesley Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative was formed under the direction of Executive Director Meghan Jop and the Select Board staff to chart a path for the deliberate work Wellesley must do to become a more inclusive and equitable community. Community members are invited to be part of this task force, which will be convening in the coming weeks. The task force will be comprised of Town officials, thought leaders, faith leaders, individuals with marginalized identities, and others who will help identify and develop a framework supporting racial equity and establishing community guiding principles and intentional practices for anti-bias, nondiscriminatory and anti-racist attitudes, and behaviors.
As Town leaders, the members of the Select Board are committed to listening to and learning from everyone in our community. We need to be working daily to eliminate expressions of hate, prejudice, intolerance, or discrimination in our community. We cannot do this work alone. We encourage the involvement of everyone living, working, or visiting Wellesley to help create change and to make it clear that there is no place for racism and hate in Wellesley.