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Fall 2007: Letter from the Chairs

Dear Council members: So far, it’s been a busy year for the Council. We had decided to mark our 30th year (actually, we are a year early for the official founding of the Council), by showing the film, ‘Secret Courage: The Story of Walter Suskind’ (see article inside); and now it seems that the Human Rights Day Breakfast is almost upon us. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, December 4th, 7:30 am at the Trinitarian Congregational Church on Walden Street, and plan to be there!

Council Board members are involved in several new projects, and we want to do a little ‘Show and Tell’ for you. Our goals this year include all our usual activities (which keep us busy enough), but also to increase involvement in, and support of the Restorative Justice initiative, and to implement the initial stages of a ‘Black Heritage and Abolitionists’ Trail in Concord. Did you know that there are many houses in Concord that were stops on the Underground Railroad? That the Alcotts, Thoreaus and Emersons were all very active Abolitionists? That the sisters, aunts, mothers and wives of those famous Transcendentalists formed the ‘Concord Female Anti-Slavery Society’? That Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison all visited and spoke in Concord? That some of our streets are named after black residents – Jennie Dugan, Brister Freeman?

Our aim is to construct a physical trail loop that includes many of these places, along with the re-packaging of the book, ‘Black History in Concord’, written by Barbara Elliott and Janet Jones of the Concord Public Schools in 1978. We hope to make it more available, both in the schools and in the community, so that it can be not only a teaching tool, but a guide to the trail itself.

We are also building our website – a work in progress – You can log on and see how far we’ve got!

Please plan to come to the Breakfast on December 4th. We need your support, your energy and your insight as we strive to make Concord a place where all people are welcomed, valued, and accorded the dignity that they deserve.

Polly Attwood & Molly Carocci Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council Co-chairs

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