NETWORK FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE

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What it Means to be an Anti-Racist: A Call to Action on Mascots

We at the Network believe that being actively anti-racist requires working to eliminate the systemic racism so fully embedded in our society, our institutions, our behavior, and our culture that it is like the air we breathe.  This work is a herculean and multi-generational process, and no one does it alone.  With the path laid forward in Winchester’s Joint Statement on Police Brutality and Racism, and by the Winchester School Board’s recent adoption of the Massachusetts Association of School Committee’s resolution, “A response to social, economic and racial justice in our communities,” there are now concrete actions we can all be taking.

One specific step is to eliminate the explicit embodiment of racism that in Winchester has become ubiquitous: the Sachem mascot. While the Winchester School Committee discussed the need to address this issue on the local level at their July 7, 2020 meeting, Native mascots are also being addressed in our State legislature. We expect that the State Senate will vote THIS MONTH on whether or not to ban Native mascots.  Winchester’s State Senators, Jason Lewis and Pat Jehlen, are in support of this bill. 

We need House leadership to hear where we stand. We implore you to reach out to friends, family members, and/or co-workers who live in the districts noted below, as constituents contacting their own legislators and writing letters to local papers makes the biggest impact.  Here is a sample letter to the editor.

House Committee on Ways and Means

Aaron Michlewitz, Chair l Aaron.M.Michlewitz@mahouse.gov

Boston: Ward 3: Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8; Ward 4: Precincts 1, 3; Ward 5: Precinct 1 (including the North End, Seaport, Chinatown)

Denise C. Garlick, Vice Chair l Denise.Garlick@mahouse.gov

 Dover; Medfield: Precincts 1, 2; Needham

Speaker of the House

Robert A. DeLeo l Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov

Revere: Ward 1: Precincts 1, 2; Ward 2; Ward 3: Precincts 2, 3; Ward 5: Precinct 3; Winthrop

Joint Committee on Education- House leadership

Alice Hanlon Peisch, Chair l Alice.Peisch@mahouse.gov

Wellesley; Wayland: Precinct 4; Weston

Paul F. Tucker, Vice Chair l Paul.Tucker@mahouse.gov

Salem

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