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Spring 2009: Letter from the Chairs

Letter from the Chairs

Dear Council members:

Each season brings its own sense of ‘busy’ness, and each one, in turn, convinces me that it is the busiest of all. This spring is no exception. So far this year (since September) we have held or sponsored several events. The Human Rights Day Breakfast in December featured the Biannual ‘Climate for Freedom’ Award, given this time to PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, for their work in promoting dialog, and acceptance in the community. We were hosted by the Trinitarian Congregational Church on Walden St, with Reverend John Lombard welcoming the crowd on a cold December Monday morning.

In January, the Annual Martin Luther King Celebration was held in the Sanborn Auditorium, with the Boston Children’s Choir, and the Willard School Fifth Grade Chorus, performing both separately, and then together. Coming as it did just a few days before the Presidential Inauguration, it was an evening that felt immensely significant and poignant. Thanks go to Charlyn Bethel, Director of the Willard Chorus, and to Michelle Adams, Director of the Boston Children’s Choir.

The Human Rights Council has co-sponsored and supported three recent events: the Homelessness Forum; the presentation at Kerem Shalom, ‘Combatants for Peace’; and the Communities for Restorative Justice event featuring Howard Zehr, who is a noted author, photographer and the ‘grandfather’ of the Restorative Justice movement. All of these activities exemplify the Council’s watchwords –‘the climate of the community is the responsibility of the community.’ In keeping that phrase in the forefront of our minds as we go about our daily lives, we hope that we can indeed foster a climate of freedom here in Concord and Carlisle, and hope that it can spread further into the wider world community.

The Drinking Gourd Project (establishment of a Black Heritage and Abolitionist Tour in Concord) is gathering momentum (see inside for more details). We are also facilitating the establishment of a METCO Scholarship Fund, which will be kicking off with its initial fundraiser on April 17th – again, see inside for more details. The 29th Annual Concord Holocaust Memorial Observance will be hosted by the Board of Selectmen on Sunday, April 26th, 7:30 pm at the Town House. All are welcome to this event, which promises to be a very powerful evening. Rosalie Gerut and Martina Emme will be the speakers – they are founders of the organization, ‘One by One.’

So, yes, it’s a busy season. Thank you all for your support of our work, past and future. We couldn’t do it without your help and goodwill.

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

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