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Praise for forum with Pedrini, panel

The following letter is by Barbara Goodman, an Arlington resident.


Dear Adam Chapdelaine, Jillian Harvey, Allentza Michel and members of the Human Rights Commission:

For many years, I’ve heard the phrase “this country needs to have a serious conversation about race.” I never really understood what that meant, nor could I imagine how to make it happen. But you pulled it off brilliantly. Congratulations on a job well done.

I was so impressed by the moderator, Micheal Curry, who respectfully pushed Lt. Pedrini to talk about how he had changed, how he could learn more about racism and what he could do to help the Arlington Police Department improve its relationship to the marginalized members of our community. Seven panelist: young and old, white and black, and men and women of different ethnic and social backgrounds spoke their individual truths with both passion and commitment to making the world a better place -- I learned so much from them.

Recently, I wrote a piece in YourArlington asking for the participants in this program to show some humility and grace. You all did more than that. With passion and compassion you confronting Lt. Pedrini with the harsh truths of racism and bigotry.

Thank you Drake Pusey, David Valdes, Zane T. Crute, Scott Jones, Susan Ryan-Vollmar, Greg Christiana, Doralee Heurtelou and Phedjina Jean.

In the ugly world we currently live, am so honored to have you all as my neighbors.

This letter was published Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020.

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