Educate, Engage, Activate

Joint Statement on Police Brutality and Systemic Racism

We condemn hate crimes, police brutality, and the systemic and pervasive institutional factors that have led to the recent violence and trauma impacting communities of color across the country.

Taking our lead from NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, we reiterate that “The uprising spreading across this country is fueled by systemic racial issues that have been ingrained in the fabric of this nation.” Systemic racism has brought us to this current moment. The wave of anger and collective action set off by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman is not happening in a vacuum, but against the backdrop of COVID 19, which has unleashed a wave of xenophobia against the Asian community, laid bare the disparate impact of the virus on communities of color, and highlighted the deep structural inequities and inaccessibility of our current healthcare system.

What we are witnessing right now at these protests, including those taking place right here in Boston, is a legitimate public outcry not only for justice and equality, but also for accountability: of law enforcement officials, of governments, and of ourselves as individuals. The vast majority of these protestors are exercising their right to free speech effectively and peacefully, and it is imperative to not let their message get derailed or criminalized based on the actions of a few violent looters and instigators behaving as spoilers.

We believe that right now, in the immediate aftermath of these protests, the town of Winchester has the responsibility to reaffirm our core values and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as penned in our Human Rights Statement. We call on everyone in this community to act as anti-racists and proclaim that our community, united in solidarity across town government, schools, and places of work and worship, has zero tolerance for racism, hatred or exclusion of any kind. This message can be strengthened by working together to process what we are hearing and seeing in the media — at the dinner table, in community conversations, in virtual classrooms, and within faith communities.

Beyond Winchester we can take action towards addressing systemic changes in public safety and policing by letting our elected official, Representative Katherine Clark, know that we support her co-sponsorship of H.Res.988. This Resolution, put forth by Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar, condemns police brutality, racial profiling, and excessive use of force.

While the actions endorsed here represent a more immediate response to the murder of George Floyd and ensuing anguish and protest, we are committed to a longer-term strategy. We envision all of us working together with the entire Winchester community to maintain a focus on systemic racism and inequities, so that our interpersonal actions and institutionalized policies all contribute to a community that lives up to the values of its Human Rights Statement. In doing so we ensure Winchester is fully “grounded in respect for every individual, and therefore protects all residents, employees, business owners, students and visitors in the enjoyment and exercise of human and civil rights.”

Liora Norwich, Executive Director, Network for Social Justice

Lisa Wong, Winchester Town Manager

Michael Bettencourt, Chair, Winchester Select Board

Susan Verdicchio, Vice-Chair, Winchester Select Board

Mariano Goluboff, Winchester Select Board

Jacqueline A. Welch, Winchester Select Board

Amy Shapiro, Winchester Select Board

Judith Evans, Superintendent, Winchester Public Schools

Michelle Bergstrom, Chair, Winchester School Committee

Brian Vernaglia, Vice-Chair, Winchester School Committee

Karen Maruyama Bolognese, Winchester School Committee

Zeina Marchant, Winchester School Committee

Chris Nixon, Winchester School Committee

Shawn Macannuco, Network for Social Justice; Fred Yen, Winchester Farmers Market Community Hub; Kristen Webb, Winchester Resident; Andrew Gentzow, Kids’ Corner; Laurie Russell, Executive Director, Winchester Community Music School; Rev. Heather Hinton, Pastor, Second Congregational Church of Winchester; Hope N Luckie, Crawford United Methodist Church, Winchester; The Rev. Heather Janules, Winchester Unitarian Society; Raegan McCain, Schools & Youth Chair, Network for Social Justice, Winchester for Peace; Ann M Tower, Winchester Democratic Town Commitee; Nicole Jones, KIN; Colin White, Town Meeting Member; Shamus Brady; Rev. John DeNardo, First Baptist Church of Winchester; Margo Attaya, Co-Chair, Winchester Farmers Market Community Hub; Terry Currier; Rabbi Cari Bricklin-Small, Temple Shir Tikvah, Winchester; David Gauthier, Winchester Community Access & Media, Inc.; Maura D Sullivan, Town Meeting Member; Ruth Trimarchi, Winchester Resident; Allan Rodgers, Winchester Housing Partnership Board; Diab Jerius, Planning Board; Steven Cagnetta, Winchester Resident; Felicity F. Tuttle, Board Member, Winchester Housing Partnership, Network for Social Justice Steering Committee, BHGRE The Shanahan Group; Phil Coonley, Network for Social Justice Steering Committee, Winchester Unitarian Society Racial Justice Task Force; James A. Weisman, Winchester Resident; The Rev. Sarah A. Conner, Parish of the Epiphany; Gail Ockerbloom, Studio on the Common; John Suhrbier, Chair, Winchester Housing Partnership Board; Elizabeth Schreiber, Winchester Resident; Alan Field, CoolWinchester, 350 MetroNorth; Rosalyn Nazzaro, Parish of the Epiphany; Lynne Russo, BHGRE The Shanahan Group; Joseph Nazzaro, Parish of the Epiphany; Deborah Johnson; Elena Varipatis Baker, Network for Social Justice; Maureen Meister, Winchester Planning Board; Hillary Turkewitz, Network for Social Justice; Marty Jones; Fred Augenstern, Winchester Resident; Mary Ellen Mahoney; Kara Spelman, BHGRE The Shanahan Group; Betsy Walsh, Parish of the Epiphany; Dina Pradel, Winchester Resident; Yogita Miharia, Winchester High School PFA; Karen Ossen, Winchester Resident; Sandy Thompson, Network for Social Justice, Winchester Unitarian Society Racial Justice Task Force; Caren Connelly, Executive Director, Winchester Foundation for Educational Excellence; Mary McKenna, The Winchester Cultural District; Nick Bogovich, Town Meeting Member; Patricia DiFranco, Winchester Resident; Dot Butler, Program Manager, Winchester Coalition for Safer Community; Shelby Meyerhoff, Winchester Resident; Stephanie Strah, Boston Resident; Patricia Hitchcock; David W. Miller, Housing Partnership Board member, Conservation Commission member, Master Plan Steering Cmte member, Wright Locke Farm Board member; Rev. Will Burhans, First Congregational Church in Winchester; Carey Sue Barney; Lincoln School Parent Association; Brian Milauskas, Kidstock! Creative Theater; Jack McCreless, Winchester Resident; Kelly Fitzpatrick, Winchester Resident; Maria O’Connor, Winchester High School PFA Board; Mai Harrison, Winchester High School PFA Board; Lynne Brodsky, League of Women Voters of Winchester, Temple Shir Tikvah; Ann Sera, Town Meeting Member; Ruthie Gagne, Winchester Resident; Margaret E. Carril, Winchester Resident; Mark Feblowitz, Winchester School Committee (former), Town Meeting Member (former); Joyce Maxwell, Winchester Resident; Deborah DePeter, Winchester Foundation for Educational Excellence; Janet Boswell, Town Meeting and Historical Commission Member Precinct 3; Sara Austin Brown, Muraco Elementary School Parents Association (MESPA); Suzanne Trumbower, Muraco Elementary School Parents Association (MESPA); Kathryn Schadinger, Town Meeting Member; Christoph Schadinger; Stacey Irizarry, Chair, Winchester Special Education Parent Advisory Council; Gloria Legvold, Winchester Resident; Susan Fagerstrom; Nate Bradley; Pamela Cort; Stacey Meyer, Chair, Winchester Parent Inter-School Council (PISC); John Vietz, Chair, Winchester Community Music School; Gael Robinson, Parent to Parent; Stacey Princi, Lynch Parents Association; Jelena Djuragic, Lynch Parents Association; Winchester Unitarian Society; Stephen Perepeluk, Winchester Resident; Luke Macannuco, Winchester Resident; Dean Solomon, Council of Social Concern; Kathy Ochandarena, Family Action Network; Kate Carpini; Liz Brown; Krista Loose, Winchester Resident; Susan Lewis, Board President, Network for Social Justice; Meredith A. Allen; Mayra Rodriguez-Howard; Candace Cheatham; Sara Epstein; Anne Bianchini, Lynch Elementary; Eve Alda Coffey, Winchester Resident; Rabbi Rim Meirowitz, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Shir Tikvah; Claudine Sweeney; Melanie Carden, Winchester Resident; LeeAnne Toner; Douglas Cromwell, Jr, Network for Social Justice; Kinzie Gensler, Ambrose Parent Teacher Organization; Judith Peritz; Sophie Lewis, WHS Class of 2017; Isabel Bush, Winchester Resident; Jim Dailey; Naomi Burhans, Winchester Resident; Tess Kneebone, WHS Alum; Larry Banks, Winchester Unitarian Society; Linda Preston, Retired Winchester teacher; Risa Segal; Cynthia Umscheid; Catherine Valega, Green Bee Advisory; Olivia Hofheinz, Winchester Resident; Kathy Czeck; Mary Chmielowiec; Janet Nelson, Winchester Resident; Amy Anderson, Arlington Resident; Maisie Smith; Colleen Hertel; Roxana Arnet; Jason Lewis, State Senator; Christine Hollenhorst, Winchester Resident; Karen Caputo, Parent to Parent; Martina Werner; Lisa Kalner Williams, Winchester Resident; Brittany Rubbico, Winchester Resident; Maryann Gottdenker, Network for Social Justice; Ron Rubbico, Winchester Resident; Robert Legvold; Olivia Calnan; Jeanette Kolodziej, Parent to Parent; Maria Stevens Bollinger, Winchester Resident; Joel G Bleier; Jean Herbert, Winchester Resident; Alexis Gantsoudes; Jean Murphy, Winchester Resident; Karen Fagan, Winchester Public Schools; Guru Ramanathan; Lara Hawley, Winchester/McCall Middle School; Julia Greenbaum; Isha Khanzode, WHS Class of 2018; Chiara Albanese, Winchester Resident; Twisha Mohapatra; Marisa Doherty; Ronald L. Nath, MD, Winchester Resident; Nancy Nagel; Aylla Farias; Winnie Li; Heather Daley; Kevin Daley; Stefan Nagel; Richard Mucci, Council of Social Concern; Allison Kangas de Bellalta; Karen Capraro, Winchester Resident; Susan Haskell; Parent to Parent; Gabrielle Stott; Gabriela McManus, Parent to Parent; Gina Caligiuri Kurban,; Alia Mahmood; Dotty Burstein, Winchester Resident; Kaye Nash, Network for Social Justice; Tommy Bellaire, Winchester Resident; Seeme Moreira, Kids4Peace Boston; Cristina Seckinger; Caroline Otis; Georgia McGaughey Nicholls, Winchester Resident; Anna Pelusi; Tara Donner, Teacher, Winchester Public Schools; Hong Yu; Sue Doubler, Climate Action Advisory Committee, Winchester Farmers Market; Elisa Jazan, Town Meeting Member Prec. #3; Maya Zander; Thomas Dunn; Elaine Delaney-Winn; Victoria Mortenson; Karen Benedek; Colin Wall; Nancy Bigelow, Winchester Resident; Lynne Rahmeier, Network for Social Justice; Xiaoping Liang, Network for Social Justice; Jim Savage; Carol Savage; Tom Hirschfeld; Caroline Hirschfeld; Judy Storeygard, Winchesters Farmers Market; Thomas L Richardson, Winchester Resident; Marie K Richardson, Winchester Resident; Colin Simson, Town Meeting Member Prec. #5; Vivian Zander, Winchester Resident; Sandra Baccari Edler, Winchester Resident; Darrell Edler, Winchester Resident; Evan B. Edler, WHS Class of 2021; Paula Lee; Leanne Lee, Winchester Resident; Peter Lee, Winchester Resident; Cheryl Eagan-Donovan, Controversy Films; Robin Smith, Board Treasurer, Network for Social Justice; Steve Smith, Network for Social Justice; Hilda Wong-Doo, Winchester Resident; Margaret Russell; John Russell; Anna Meyer; Victoria Bunting, Winchester Resident; Sam Wilson, Winchester Unitarian Society; Erik Bergstrom, Winchester Student

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