LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – A task force in Longmeadow advocating for racial justice presented its final report and recommendations Monday night to the town’s Select Board.
The chair of the Longmeadow Coalition for Racial Justice told 22News the recommendations will make Longmeadow a more equitable and anti-racist community.
“So much of the history of systemic racism isn’t always entirely obvious to the people that live in communities that might perpetuate these cycles,” said Zach Verriden, chair of the coalition.
Last year, the Longmeadow Select Board declared racism a public health crisis and created a task force to address systemic racial injustice within the community.
Now, after months of collecting data and talking with residents, the Longmeadow Coalition for Racial Justice Task force is presenting their report and recommendations to combat racial discrimination, to the select board.
“There is systemic racism in so much of who we are and what we do and how we go about our lives that every community not just Longmeadow would benefit from these recommendations,” Verriden added.
The recommendations were based off background research conducted by the task force, including multiple incidents of racism experienced by Longmeadow residents.
Among the recommendations, promoting racially equitable hiring and promotions of town employees as well as ongoing anti-racist training.
“It’s really important that the town or any town take the courageous step of investing those resources in breaking those patterns and those cycles, for a more equitable community and a more equitable western Massachusetts,” Verriden said.
They’re also calling for an establishment of a longer-term coalition to support the select board’s implementation of anti-racist efforts.
As of news time, there is no word of the select board moving forward with the recommendations.