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CCHRC Minutes: 12/17/2009

CONCORD-CARLISLE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL December 17, 2009 Hunt Gym, 7:00 pm


1. Present: Polly Attwood; Danielle Laura; Liz Clayton; Diana Hughes; Marie Myers; Ronni Olitsky. The meeting was convened at 7:15 pm, with apologies from Molly Carocci, Bridget Saltonstall, Kristin Allison, Court Booth, Maria Madison and Steve Zippin.

2. There were no minutes for approval, so there will be two sets to approve at the January meeting.

3. There was no official Treasurer’s report, as Steve is away in Australia for three weeks. Polly has the checkbook and will reimburse anyone who has paid bills for the HRC. The Drinking Gourd Project is still receiving donations, and some donations are coming in for the HRC itself, as a result of the newsletter sent in November. There were some cash donations and money from the sales of cakes and coffee at the HR Day Breakfast and the two Shopping nights in Concord Center. Any undesignated donations from those events will be split between the Drinking Gourd and the HRC. Total DG donations so far are at about $47,000.00.

4. MLK event update (Marie and Liz): Date: Thursday, January 14th, 7-8:30 pm Program: Holy Tabernacle Church Womens’ Ministry Choir, Boston Children’s Chorus; Willard 5th Grade Chorus. All to sing the Drinking Gourd song at he end; Maria Madison will MC the program; depending on the technical availabilities, there will be a showing of the MLK speech as people enter and settle themselves in the Auditorium. Marie Myers is in charge of technical issues.

Pizza will be served to the children as they arrive; the Choir Directors will have a schedule for their rehearsals in the Auditorium, and the program of the performances. The CCHS Step Club has yet to be confirmed. If they come, they will do two quick performances, one after the MLK speech at the beginning of the program, and one at the end. Polly will send an article to the Journal to be published the Thursday before the event. Liz will send the calendar submission. Cookies will be served to the BCC as they leave to board the bus after the event. Liz will order the bus for the BCC and the HTWMC.

5. Human Rights Day Breakfast review: Len Wetherbee as the speaker was great, attendance was adequate, but disappointing (about 35 people).Staff at First Parish were very helpful, and Gary Smith was a gracious host. Polly has sent thank you letters to them and to Len Wetherbee. It was felt that the Journal’s failure to print the pre-event article was a key determinate for the low attendance.

6. Polly passed around the photos of the swastika incident at the Depot, described the interactions with the police department, and the fact of a similar, but seemingly unrelated, incident in Acton. Police are continuing to investigate, but no leads so far. Polly contacted Carol Nathan (Kerem Shalom Administrator), Rabbi Luckens, and Rosalie Gerut. All agreed on no further action unless either the perpetrators are identified, or the incidents become the subject of public news and comment. Rosalie offered to be part of a Restorative Justice Circle for the perpetrators, if that transpires as an outcome.

There was discussion about the possible protest against the CCHS play, ‘Falsettos’, coming up this weekend. The police are monitoring the websites of relevant hate groups, and will have an inconspicuous presence inside the school during the performances.

7. Abby Fund update (Danielle): Danielle is preparing for the second annual major fundraiser for the Abby Fund to be held in March – more details as they become available.

8. Drinking Gourd update: the CPC application was amended from funds for preservation to funds for acquisition; we are waiting for their decision as to how much they will grant us. We hope to acquire the property, 324 Bedford St, the Robbins/Hutchinson House, move it to one of two possible locations, (both close to the North Bridge Parking lot), turn it into an interpretive museum/Center. Paperwork is under way for the Drinking Gourd Committee to become a separate legal entity with non-profit status. A soon as that is achieved, the HRC will turn over the DG portion of the money in the HRC account. The group is working with a pro bono lawyer, engineers, the owners’ lawyer and broker, surveyors and appraisers, as well as the Historical Commission, Minuteman National Park, the Planning Board, Selectmen – and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

9. Holocaust Memorial plans: the date is April 11th, the actual date of Yom Hashoah. We need to lock up the question of a speaker – most will already be booking for that date. Liz will call her contacts, to see if one is available. Polly will contact Rosalie Gerut and the Board of Selectmen.

10. Climate for Freedom Award: a committee needs to be formed to start work on this, as an Award will be given at eh HR day Breakfast in December 2K10.

11. The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm. The next meeting will be on Thursday, January 21.

Submitted by: Polly Attwood 12/27/2009

Addendum to the above minutes:

a) The CPC announced their intention of funding The Drinking Gourd Project at the full amount of the application – $300,000.00. The funds need to be approved at Town Meeting in April, and then would become available on July 1st. The DG cmte has now signed Articles of Incorporation, voted in a slate of Officers of the Corporation, voted on the Constitution and Bye-Laws, and sent the paperwork to the lawyer for checking. b) The CCHS Step Club is coming to the MLK event. The parents of the Boston and Concord Family Friend Council are being invited to the event, and the Alcott Metco budget will provide a bus for those parents who prefer not to drive out. c) There was no trouble at the performances of the play, ‘Falsettos’, at the High School.

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