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Rights group sees more work ahead

The following statement is from the Arlington Human Rights Commission's January 2020 newsletter:

Arlington Human Rughts Commission, 2020 log

As we enter 2020, the Arlington Human Rights Commission would like to share our thoughts with you about the past and more importantly about our future. Our Commission of 13 has six new members, increasingly reflecting the growing diversity of our town. Our entire commission is energized to work together with the community to address the challenging human rights issues facing those who live, work and visit Arlington.

As we move forward, we are mindful of the damage to our community that has yet to be repaired. Regrettably, our town has experienced incidents of hate, intolerance and inflammatory language, stemming from racism, anti-Semitism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and systemic discrimination.

Homophobic, anti-Semitic and racist graffiti has been scrawled in our schools. A house of worship and home of a rabbi and his family was set on fire twice. Hate speech targeting communities of color, immigrants and refugees, religious minorities and other vulnerable communities has been circulated and heard. Hateful incidents like these have caused widespread fear.

Arlington can and must do better.

We recognize that every person in Arlington deserves to be heard, valued, respected and protected.

To better ensure you are heard, we will increase your opportunity to be heard by us. Please come join our monthly coffee chats, our open meetings or contact us using the information below.

Because we value and celebrate inclusion and diversity, we will host, sponsor, and partner with community programs and events. Check our Facebook page, Website, and Twitter for information about upcoming events and partner events.

To foster respect, we will participate in town programs, including community activities, discussions with police, and outreach to community groups. Please feel welcome to send us ideas or join one of our Working Groups using the contact details below.

We are facilitating training, education and incident reporting with the police, the town and our schools to increase protection for all in Arlington. To make our town safer, we need you to report incidents. Please contact us with any concerns at: 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 781-316-3250

By Mail: 27 Maple St., Arlington, MA 02476.

This letter was published Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.

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