Andover DIVERSE

January 5, 2021

Focus Group Registrations Are Open

The Town of Andover is now opening registration for the second step of the Town’s Diversity Audit: Community Focus Groups. 

 

Scheduled to take place during the month of January, this series of virtual conversations will be facilitated by VISIONS, Inc., Andover’s consulting partner in this important work. These focus groups will provide an opportunity for those that wish to speak to be heard. 

 

The process is designed to collect information about the racial climate in Andover, including strengths, challenges and desired outcomes as well as to provide a chance for participants to share their experiences, interpersonally, institutionally and culturally in and around these critical matters.

 

The focus groups will have a limited number of slots for the 50-minute sessions, so please register early if you’d like to participate!  

 

The focus groups will consist of several demographics salient to the Andover community. Please sign up as early as possible in order to be able to participate in a group. 

 

PLEASE SIGN UP FOR ONE GROUP ONLY.

 

We will send out confirmations to those registered for the groups.

 

If you have not had a chance to fill out the online survey yet, please do so here:

 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Andover_asst_2020

  

FOCUS GROUP LINKS

Please sign up for the group that you feel best represents you:

  

Chinese – January 26, 2021, 6:00 pm:

Chinese focus group - men

Chinese focus group - Women

 

Pan Asian – January 27, 2021, 6:00 pm:

Pan Asian focus group - Men

Pan Asian focus group - Women

 

Black – African American – January 26, 2021, 6:00 pm: 

Black - African American focus group - Men

Black - African American focus group - Women

 

Black – African Immigrant – January 25, 2021, 6pm: 

Black - African Immigrant focus group - Men

Black - African Immigrant focus group - Women

 

White – January 26, 2021, 6:00 pm:

White focus group - Men

White focus group - Women

 

Hispanic – January 28, 2021, 6:00 pm:

Hispanic focus group - Men

Hispanic focus group - Women

 

Youth – January 25, 2021, 5:00 pm:

Youth focus group -- Young men

Youth focus group -- Young Women

 

Phillips Academy employees January 27, 2021, 5:00 pm:

Phillips Academy faculty, staff -- People of Color

Phillips Academy faculty, staff -- White

 

Andover Clergy January 26, 2021, 4:00 pm: 

Clergy focus group

 

MVB+BV – January 19, 2021, 6:00 pm: 

Merrimack Valley Black & Brown Voices focus group

 

The Diversity Audit Survey remains open. If you’ve not yet had an opportunity to complete that survey please do so here: 

                             https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Andover_asst_2020

We thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts and experiences with us. We encourage you to forward the link on to your social networks.


January 4, 2021

Town of Andover Seeks Members for Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


The Town of Andover is seeking Andover community members interested in serving on the newly created Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

 

The charge and structure of the Commission is as follows:

 

Andover’s Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will work to combat the realities of racism and intolerance in Andover by supporting programs, initiatives, education, outreach, policies, and institutional change which contribute to an inclusive Andover; a community which embraces tolerance, inclusiveness and respect for all.     

 

Andover’s Commission on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion will consist of 13 appointed members, each appointed by the Town Manager for three (3) year terms. 

 

Appointments to the commission will be made with an eye to diversity to ensure historically marginalized communities have a seat at the table. 

 

The Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will consist, at a minimum, of the following representatives:

 

5 individuals who live and/or work in Andover

3 Clergy representatives

2 Youth representatives

1 Andover High School staff representative

1 Philips Academy representative

1 Andover Police Department representative

1 Andover Select Board member liaison

1 Andover School Committee member liaison

 

If you are interested in serving, complete a Talent Bank Form by visiting www.andoverma.gov/volunteer.

 

For any questions about the Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, please contact Jemma Lambert, Director of Community Services at Jemma.Lambert@andoverma.us or by phone at (978) 623-8312.

 


End of 2020 Update

Andover Diversity Audit: Update 

The Town of Andover is committed to creating a community which embraces inclusiveness and respect for all. By hearing from and listening to the experiences of those who live and/or work in Andover we will, together, create a path forward. 

Focus Groups

The Town of Andover will soon open registration for the second step of the Town’s Diversity Audit: Community Focus Groups.

Scheduled to take place during the month of January, a series of virtual conversations will be facilitated by VISIONS, Inc., Andover’s consulting partner in this important work. These focus groups will provide an opportunity for those that wish to speak to be heard. 

The process is designed to collect information about the racial climate in Andover, including strengths, challenges and desired outcomes as well as to provide a chance for participants to share their experiences, interpersonally, institutionally and culturally in and around these critical matters.

The focus groups will have a limited number of slots for the 50-minute sessions, so please register early if you’d like to participate. 

Keep an eye out for the Focus Group registration link in the next week or so!

On-line Survey

The Diversity Audit Survey remains open. If you’ve not yet had an opportunity to complete that survey please do so here: 

                             https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Andover_asst_2020

We thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts and experiences with us. We encourage you to forward the link on to your social networks.

The survey is anonymous.

The survey can be accessed in English, Spanish or Mandarin. 

 



December 2018 Update

Courageous Conversations Upcoming Event:

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You: A Virtual Conversation with Local Educators & Students

 Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - 7:00pm

Register through Zoom.

About the book: Reynolds (Look Both Ways) lends his signature flair to remixing Kendi’s award-winning Stamped from the Beginning into a powerful “not a history book” primer on the historical roots and present-day manifestations of antiblack racism in America. In five sections, Reynolds’s conversational text discusses the influential figures, movements, and events that have propagated racist ideas, beginning in 1415 with the publication of the infamous work that laid the groundwork for subsequent religious justifications of enslaving African peoples and continuing through the “war on drugs” and #BlackLivesMatter. Employing a format that hews closely to Kendi’s original, Reynolds discusses and differentiates between segregationist (“a hater”), assimilationist (“a coward”), and antiracist (“someone who truly loves”) rhetoric via figures such as Angela Davis, W.E.B. DuBois, Thomas Jefferson, and Cotton Mather. Short chapters, lively phrasing (“You know what hits do—they spread”), and intentional breaks (“Time Out,” “Let’s all just take a deep breath”) help maintain a brisk, compelling pace. Told impressively economically, loaded with historical details that connect clearly to current experiences, and bolstered with suggested reading and listening selected specifically for young readers, Kendi and Reynolds’s volume is essential, meaningfully accessible reading. ---Publishers Weekly

Hosted by Courageous Conversations and Memorial Hall Library. The Winter/Spring series is focused on mass incarceration and the justice system, particularly the impacts on Black and Latinx communities.

Courageous Conversations Series


December 8, 2020

The Survey is Open!

The Town of Andover is committed to creating a community which embraces inclusiveness and respect for all. 

Our survey; the first step in understanding your experiences related to diversity, equity and inclusion in the Town of Andover is ready. 

We thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts and experiences with us. We encourage you to forward the link on to your social networks.

The survey is anonymous.

The survey can be accessed in English, Spanish or Mandarin. Click he link below to begin!

 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Andover_asst_2020


Update on Andover's Diversity Assessment and Survey

The Town of Andover is committed to creating a community which embraces inclusiveness and respect for all. 

As a way to ascertain that this commitment is honored, the first step is to assess where we currently stand.  To that end the Town has engaged the services of a consulting firm, VISIONS, Inc., to facilitate and guide an organizational-wide assessment process known as a diversity audit.  

This audit consists of two distinct information gathering avenues: an anonymous survey and a series of face-to-face focus groups with stakeholders. 

By hearing from and listening to the experiences of those who live and/or work in Andover we will, together, understand what needs to be done to make sure our community embraces inclusiveness and respect for all.  

The Town of Andover’s Diversity Survey will be ready for release in the coming days and will be sent out through the town's social media platforms. Please keep an eye out for that link. 

We thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts and experiences with us. We encourage you to forward that link on to your social networks. We want to hear from all who live and/or work in Andover.  

Your voice matters.

We look forward to your participation in this project.  Please look for the link to the anonymous survey in the coming days. 

Thank you in advance for your help and participation.

Please visit www.andoverma.gov/diverse for the latest information. 





Diversity in Recreation Programming

Working Group

 

The Town of Andover's Community Services Department is looking for community volunteers to help us look at our array of Recreation programming with an eye to equity, diversity and inclusion. 


Our hope is to make positive change in the Recreation's classes, celebrations and special events to better reflect our community’s interests, values and cultural practices. 

 

If you have an interest in working collaboratively with others by contributing ideas or suggestions, please reach out to Jemma Lambert, Director of Community Services at:


jemma.lambert @andoverma.us 


October 28,2020

Message from the Town Manager (provided to the Select Board on October 22, 2020):

On October 21st, the Town learned that a symbol of hate was placed in the front yard of a home in Andover.  Symbols and acts of hate have no place in Andover and in every case, they will be actively and thoroughly investigated by the Andover Police Department.  

Andover is not immune to such acts and symbols of hate, and we must work collaboratively to reject such expressions and embrace our shared values: tolerance, inclusiveness, and respect of diversity in all its forms.  The symbol discovered yesterday is not reflective of the community, its strong commitment to combat the realities of racism and its ongoing efforts to build a more inclusive Andover.   While these acts are both destructive and hurtful, we cannot let them impede the progress we are making together.   

On September 28th, the Select Board and Town Manager adopted a goal for 2020-2021 that focuses expressly on advancing the community’s work around diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Here is a summary of the goal:

Advance community discussions around diversity, equity and inclusion and develop roadmap for next steps:

  • Work with Visions, Inc. to complete a community assessment by facilitating focus groups with residents, communities of faith, communities of color and public and private school leaders and other stakeholders 
  • Complete community survey which, in conjunction with the outcomes of focus groups, will define the Town’s roadmap for next steps that are responsive to community priorities and create educational opportunities for residents and businesses on anti-racism and implicit bias. Work with Human Resources to identify and implement training opportunities for Town and school employees that focus on implicit bias, equity and anti-racism, and establish and appoint a permanent resident and staff joint committee to work on developing a charge for Andover DIVERSE.  The Committee shall also support the work of Andover DIVERSE  
  • Identify and fund a dedicated resource(s) focused on advancing the Town’s work around diversity, equity and inclusion goals. Evaluate opportunities that may include regional partnerships, shared services or other assignments of responsibilities as part of the effort to establish this resource(s) 


Work towards this goal is well underway. We are fortunate to benefit from the talents and commitment of several leaders in the community who stepped forward as we advance these efforts. They leaders are:  

  • Michael Eatman, Director of Community Life, The Pike School
  • Dana Allen Walsh, Senior Pastor, South Church
  • Jorge Allen, World Language Program Head, Andover Public Schools
  • Elizabeth Walther-Grant, Co-Founder, Merrimack Valley Black and Brown Voices
  • Nicki Wiggins, Board Member, A Better Chance
  • Mary Pritchard, founder, Courageous Conversations
  • Rick Pinderhughes, Consultant, VISIONS
  • Jemma Lambert, Director of Community Services, Town of Andover

Together, this group will finalize a survey instrument and design our approach to focus group conversations with residents and businesses.  That work is underway and will continue through the month of October. 

We intend to launch the community-wide survey by the end of October and to schedule and begin conducting focus groups shortly thereafter. Once these activities are completed, Project Consultant Rick Pinderhughes will provide the Town with a set of recommended action steps that align with the community’s shared priorities. 

The Select Board and Town Manager will continue to provide regular updates on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative. The next update is scheduled for the November 2nd Select Board Meeting. 

The Select Board and Town Manager thank you in advance for your participation.  

Andrew Flanagan

October 27, 2020

Diversity in Recreation Programming

Working Group

 

The Recreation Division is looking for community volunteers to help us look at our array of programming with an eye to equity, diversity and inclusion. 


Our hope is to make positive change in our classes, celebrations and special events to better reflect our community’s interests, values and cultural practices. 

 

If you have an interest in working collaboratively with others by contributing ideas or suggestions, please reach out to Jemma Lambert, Director of Community Services at:


jemma.lambert @andoverma.us 


September, 2020

The Town of Andover would like to thank all that participated in Andover’s community conversation on matters of race/racism, equity, diversity and inclusion. Some 125 individuals came together for a virtual meeting to talk about making positive change here in Andover.

That work will begin with the completion of a community-wide survey and a series of focus group conversations to better understand our shared values and priorities here in Andover. The voices of our community will shape the direction of the work to come in both the short and long-term. 

Project Consultant Rick Pinderhughes and the town's Director of Community Services Jemma Lambert will be working together with community members to complete these important first steps. Here’s what to expect in the coming weeks: 

  • Identification of a small, ad-hoc working group comprised of community leaders, project consultant Rick Pinderhughes and Jemma Lambert  to complete the survey design, articulate a project timeline and a road map for our focus groups. It is our intention to identify community volunteers for this work in the next few weeks and to hold our first meeting in October. 
  • We intend to roll the survey out to the community in October, followed by the launch of a series of focus groups with a wide range of community interest groups and individuals.
  • Regular status updates related to the progress of this work will be posted on the Town’s website, provided to Andover’s Select Board, and shared via social media.   


 

Early October, 2020

Work continues toward making positive change on matters of race/racism, equity, diversity and inclusion here in Andover.

 

We’re exceedingly fortunate to be benefitting from the talents and commitment of several leaders in the Andover community who stepped forward to volunteer their time on our short-term working group. They are:   

Michael Eatman, Director of Community Life, The Pike School

Dana Allen Walsh, Senior Pastor, South Church

Jorge Allen, World Language Program Head, Andover Public Schools

Elizabeth Walther-Grant, Co-Founder, Merrimac Valley Black and Brown Voices

Nicki Wiggins, Board Member, A Better Chance

Mary Pritchard, founder, Courageous Conversations

 

Andover municipal team: 

Rick Pinderhughes, Consultant, VISIONS

Jemma Lambert, Director of Community Services, Town of Andover

 

Together this group will finalize the survey instrument and design our approach to focus group conversations with all of you. That work is underway and will continue through the month of October. 

 

It is our hope and intent to launch the community-wide survey in October and to schedule and begin conducting focus groups shortly thereafter.

 

Once these activities are completed Project Consultant Rick Pinderhughes will provide the Town with a set of recommended activities you, our community, tell us are your shared priorities. 

 

Please share this update with your circle of connections. 

 

We look forward to sending out a link to the survey in the coming weeks.

 

 

  1. Jemma Lambert

    Director of Community Services