LWV OBSERVER CORPS: Task Force Against Discrimination, June 1

BOARD: Task Force Against Discrimination

DATE: June 1 (via Zoom, not recorded)

LWVM OBSERVER: Shari Pressman

MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE: Helaine Hazlett, Deacon John Whipple, Chris Buell, Scott Marcus, Candice Sliney, Reece Dahlberg, Diane Gora, Kim Gubelman

Update on Marblehead Police Department

Chief Dennis King couldn’t attend in person but left a message for Hazlett. No new incidents to report; MPD is helping with Pride Day and working with the ADL.

Report on Marblehead Public Schools

Sliney reported that Team Harmony was able to reach all third grades and, for the first time, students at Marblehead High School. They didn’t get to Veterans or Village this year because of scheduling. Sliney believes visit dates should be handled by administrators with the dates confirmed for schools early in the school year. She would like to focus first on MHS, then Veterans.  “Times have changed. (Team Harmony) is more important than ever,” she noted.

Juneteenth Celebration is scheduled for Wednesday, June 14 on Abbot Hall grounds beginning at 4:30. Emcees are TFAD student reps Celia Sliney and Helina Tadesse. Greg Coles will open the program with African drumming and storytelling, followed by speakers Jackie Belf-Becker, Select Board member; Nicole McClain, director of the North Shore Juneteenth Association; student poet Damilola Graciella Olabisi; MHS students speaking about “A World With Justice” and the Rev. Andre Bennett, pastor of youth and young adults at Zion Baptist Church in Lynn. The Black National Anthem will be sung by Tanya Crowell. Organizers Candice Sliney and Gora report that flyers are ready at schools and will be posted in other locations. Juneteenth is presented in conjunction with NSJA and funded by a $1,000 grant.

Update on Marblehead Pride Day

Dahlberg announced plans for the program beginning at 3 p.m. on June 3 on Abbot Hall grounds. Select Board members Jackie Belf-Becker and Alexa Singer, Superintendent of Schools John Buckey, state Rep.  Jenny Armini, Rev. James Bixby, pastor of Clifton Lutheran Church and co-chair of MRJT, sixth-grade teacher Natalie Belli and a representative from the LGBTQ+ community will speak. The Jeweltones, MHS’ a cappella chorus will perform.

The Beacon Restaurant, 123 Pleasant St., will hold a Pride Celebration fundraiser on Sunday, June 4 from 4 p.m. “until the dancing ends”.

Update on Marblehead Festival of Arts

Buell, Gubelman and Dahlberg designed an orb (like an ornament) and created it at Hestia Products to represent TFAD at the festival. The orbs will be hidden in various locations in town and displayed on social media sites when they’re found.

Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)

A motion was made and passed unanimously supporting Hazlett and Sarai going before the Select Board to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month in Marblehead with a proclamation.

Update from Marblehead Racial Justice Team

Liaisons Louis Meyi and Jay Morrison: Conversations on Race will end its yearlong programming at 7 p.m. Monday evening, June 26 at the Marblehead Museum with “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” Panelists will speak about how working for racial justice has changed and what they see for the future.

Portraits of Harriet Tubman and John Lewis were installed at Glover School on May 5. All students were present. The first graders sang, according to Jay, a “very moving” rendition of several songs. The portraits will be reinstalled annually at each school in town.

Negro Election Day will be celebrated on the third Saturday in July (July 15) with a parade to The Willows in Salem. Sliney thanked Lindsay Smith from MRJT for her help reaching youth.

Next meeting

The task force’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 13 at 7 p.m.

Marblehead League of Women Voters Observer Corps

Observer Corps Reports are provided by volunteers from the Marblehead League of Women Voters. To learn more about the League and its activities, see my.lwv.org/massachusetts/marblehead.

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