The Race Relations committee serves in two principal functions:
- to provide educational programming for a variety of community stakeholders;
- to work in consultation with the Legal Redress committee to address issues of discrimination and injustice in the community.
Our educational programming usually involves DEI topics such as cultural competency, white privilege, microaggressions and racial slurs, race as a social construct, etc. Our stakeholders have included the NAACP general membership, K-12 school groups, community-based non-profits and faith communities.
The chairs consult frequently, both virtually and in-person on a case-by-case basis, depending on community needs. No subcommittees exist as yet.
- To facilitate as many community programs as are requested by stakeholders and that the chairs are able to accommodate;
- To collaborate effectively with the chairs of the Legal Redress committee to bring pressure on responsible parties on behalf of complainants.
- To continue to nurture and expand educational collaborations with local post-secondary institutions in pursuit of DEI work (see Current Activities below for example)
- Second round of the White Learning Circle, a study and discussion group for NAACP members who identify as White, to examine issues of race, oppression and privilege in America. Fourteen members are meeting from October 2021 through May 2022.
- The Berkshire Immigrant Center presented a 2 part series:
- Part 1 provided information on their services and the status of many immigrants in Berkshire County.
- Part 2 was a collaborative effort between the NAACP and the Berkshire Immigrant Center. The topic of this panel discussion was “Immigrants In The Berkshires”. The presenters were the Berkshire County District Attorney, Andrea Harrington, Lillian Hirales, Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General and Elizabeth Tully, of Cohen, Valenti and Cook.
- First iteration of internships for three Williams College students to develop programming for the NAACP membership on reparations, affirmative action and the history of the NAACP’s work with other racial justice organizations.
- A presentation on microaggressions for 60+ middle school aged students at Richmond Consolidated School.
Chairs and contact information
- Shirley Edgerton: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Joel Priest
Aspirations for Ourselves – a Branch statement