Praise Report: The Brookline Summit for Racial Equity

Feb 20, 2019

On February 10th, five representatives of HRB and MHFC attended the Brookline Summit for Racial Equity, a first-ever gathering of people of color and white allies dedicated to ending policies and practices that disadvantage and marginalize racial groups here in Brookline, and to cultivating a town culture in which everyone is treated with fairness, respect, and dignity. We met in a large group and heard some of the negative experiences of people of color in Brookline, and then broke into working groups to identify questions, obstacles, allies, and resources for achieving progress on seven main issues identified by the Brookline People of Color Caucus:

  1. Increase quality and amount of low- and moderate-income housing in Brookline.
  2. Increase number of people of color employed by the town in entry-level, mid-management, and senior leadership positions.
  3. Increase diversity on Boards and Commissions, and remove barriers to running for office.
  4. Reduce or eliminate the substantial disparity in academic outcomes between white students and students of color.
  5. Reduce or eliminate the disproportionate number of negative police interactions with people of color.
  6. Produce a robust minority- and women-owned business enterprise program.
  7. Produce and implement anti-racism programming reviews consistent with applicable laws and policies.

Thanks to the thorough advance preparation by the Brookline People of Color Caucus and the organizers, progress was made in all the working groups. These groups will be meeting again soon, and two more Summits are scheduled for this year. The goal is to achieve all proposed outcomes within four years, and significant progress as soon as possible. If you'd like to hear more or are interested in bringing your energy or expertise to one of the working groups, please attend the next Racial Justice Ministry meeting on March 3 or email racialjusticeministry@highrock.org.