The Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee on Monday passed a resolution calling on other town boards and committees to begin living up to the requirements of a resolution passed at the 2020 annual town meeting.
A group of social workers commissioned by the town has begun a long-term community assessment research project, and it is encouraging all residents to share their feelings in confidential one-on-one interviews.
Chair Mohammed Memfis began Monday's meeting of the Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee by saying that Aruna D'Souza, Gina Coleman and, "obviously myself," would be rotating off the board at the end of its first year.
Bilal Ansari later said he would reconsider and pray on his decision about whether to continue with the Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee after he received an apology from the vice chair of the Select Board.
The Select Board last summer created what became the Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee as an advisory panel. Members of that panel this week questioned why the Select Board has not appeared willing to consider the advice the DIRE Committee has provided.
As it nears the end of its inaugural year and faces the first departure of a founding member, the town's diversity committee Monday reflected on the importance of the discussions it has had and the perspectives it has centered in the town's conversation.
The chair of the town's committee on diversity, equity and inclusion Monday reported to his colleagues that he had a long conversation with the town's acting chief of police and that future dialogues between the committee and Police Department are planned.
And although Mohammed Memfis noted that he likes to think of every month as Black History Month, February is "a great time for people to learn things about Black history that they may not have known before," he said.
Bruegl, the director of cultural affairs for the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, met with the town's Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee on Thursday to talk about how to take advantage of the new Stockbridge-Munsee extension office on Spring Street.
Williams College seniors Kate Orringer and Morgan Dauk appeared before the Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee to give a presentation based on their work in an Environmental Planning Workshop under Professor Gardner.
DIRE Committee member Aruna D'Souza pressed the pair about whether that conversation could include a step that many in town have been calling for since August's release of a discrimination suit by a sergeant against the town, Hoch and Police Chief Kyle Johnson.
Patton, who serves on the DIRE Committee the Select Board established in June, replied that it is not as simple as the town deciding not to employ people based on actions for which the employees already were disciplined.
In a letter to Town Manager Jason Hoch, Officer Brad Sacco, the president of Massachusetts Coalition of Police Local 424, accused the Select Board and the Diversity Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee it appointed this summer of fostering an "environment of hostility" toward law enforcement.
The Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee this week heard from several residents who echoed the concerns raised by committee members about the presence of police officers in the town's public schools.
It is a topic that has been mentioned before in town and Mount Greylock Regional School District forums, but the comments at last week's DIRE Committee meeting were as strong as any to date in an official forum.