Andover DIVERSE (Diversity, Inclusion, Values, Respect, Support and Education) is a Division focused on advancing community-driven initiatives and engagement with the goal of building a more inclusive Andover.
The first order of business in this effort was to invest in a Diversity Audit; a process designed to gain an appreciation of the experiences of the Andover community where race, racism, equity, justice and inclusion are concerned.
To that end, the Town engaged the services of Consultant Richard Pinderhughes of Visions, Inc. and concurrently populated a DIVERSE Working Group of interested community volunteers whom, together, would work to steer this data gathering effort. To date this team has:
- Crafted and launched a community-wide survey
- Designed and launched a series of 24 community focus groups to engage in conversation about racism, equity, justice and inclusion with those wishing to voice their experiences
- Crafted a proposed structure and mission for a permanent Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion which was successfully enabled by Andover’s Select Board
- Interview and appoint members of the Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Receive the final report on Andover’s Diversity Audit
- Chart a course forward to make actionable progress on building a more diverse and inclusive community
- Assign/adequately resource the Andover DIVERSE Division with the staff support required to ensure sustainable forward momentum
RESOURCES TO CARE FOR OURSELVES & OTHERS
IN COMBATING WHITE SUPREMACY
Information & Guidance
- The Rise of Domestic Extremism in America (Washington Post)
- Imagining a World Without White Supremacy (Learning for Justice)
- White Supremacy Culture (Tema Okun)
Talking with Young Children
- Talking to Young Children about Race & Racism (PBS)
- Reactions to Highly Stressful or Potentially Traumatic Events (Riverside Community Care)
- Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers (National Association for School Psychologists)
- How to Teach Kids about Taboo Topics (TED Talk)
For Allies to the Black Community
- Show Up: Guide to Bystander Intervention (Center for Urban Pedagogy)
- Why People of Color Need Spaces without White People (The Arrow)
- What White Colleagues Need to Understand (Learning for Justice)
News and Events
Last week, we started off our A Rise in Hate series with Boston Globe columnist, Jeneé Osterheldt. It was a powerful and thought provoking evening! If you haven't had a chance to see it, it will soon be available on the MHL website or you can watch at Courageous Conversations: A Rise in Hate on Vimeo.
Coming up on Wed., Feb. 8 @ 7:00 p.m. will be our second event in the series. This conversation will focus on the LGBTQ+ community in the midst of this emboldened rise in hate. As Jeneé said during last week's conversation, "No one should have to wake up with fear based on the color of your skin, your faith, your identity, your culture, or document status. We all deserve a sense of peace and safety as humans."
Let's keep this important conversation going. Register on Zoom. For more on this upcoming event, see details below.
Courageous Conversations: Rise in Hate ~ LGBTQ+ Panel
Wednesday, February 8, 2023 - 7:00pm
LGBTQ+ panel discussion as part of the Rise in Hate series.
Massachusetts is witnessing a rise in hate towards the LBGTQ+ community, as is the nation, fueled by misinformation and a lack of awareness. The forces of opposition are small, yet loud and increasingly more organized. This has fueled a fractured society that unfairly politicizes the bodies of LGBTQ+ folks who are just trying to live their lives.
The devastating effects of hate against the LGBTQ community are evident in a suicide attempt rate that is 4 times higher among LGBTQ youth than their peers. LGBTQ youth are not inherently prone to suicide risk because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, rather placed at higher risk because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society.
This Courageous Conversation aims to correct misinformation and provide an overview of approaches that community members and allies can use to improve conversations about LGBTQ equality, with a focus on illustrating the concrete harms and hate that LGBTQ people face here in Andover and across Massachusetts, helping straight, cis-gender people see those harms through their own eyes, and avoiding missteps that can create roadblocks to successful discussions.
- Moderator: Ian Whalen-Stone, Greater Boston PFLAG
- Community Participants: Renee Manning (she/her), transgender advocate; Grayson Dinino (he/him), AHS class of 2022; Larainne Wilson (she/her), transgender parent and Director of Equity and Counseling
This program is a partnership with Courageous Conversations and Memorial Hall Library.