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Williamstown Diversity Committee Reviews Its Guiding Principles

Monday marked the second meeting in four days for the newly constituted Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Advisory Committee, which held a Friday afternoon "retreat" last week.

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Williamstown Select Board Names Three to DIRE Committee

Johnson put forward Andi Bryant, Shana Dix and Carolyn Greene after noting that two of the seven residents who applied to serve on the board had withdrawn their applications for personal reasons.

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Williamstown's DIRE Committee Seeks Reports From Other Town Bodies

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.

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Williamstown Sees Surplus of DIRE Committee Applicants

The Select Board on Monday heard from several residents interested in filling three vacant seats on the town's diversity committee.

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Social Workers Seek Interview Subjects for Williamstown Needs Assessment

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.

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Williamstown Diversity Committee Losing Five Persons of Color

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.

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Snub by Select Board Leads to Resignation on Williamstown Equity Committee

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.

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Williamstown DIRE Committee Questions Lack of Response from 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.

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Williamstown DIRE Committee: 'Detox' Good for the Town

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.

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Williamstown DIRE Committee: Police Discussions Meant to Help Department

Members of the town's racial equity committee Monday emphasized that calls for accountability in the town's police department are not attacks on the town's police officers.

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Williamstown DIRE Committee Chair Reports on Talk with Acting Police Chief

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.

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Williamstown DIRE Committee Talks About Need for Historical Accuracy

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.

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Stockbridge-Munsee Representative Talks With Williamstown's DIRE Committee

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.

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Williamstown DIRE Committee Recognizes Effort to Address Racist Covenant

The town's diversity committee Monday officially recognized the work of a group of residents who worked this summer to acknowledge and right a historic injustice.

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Williams Students Argue Zoning Changes May Address Inequity in Williamstown

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.

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Williamstown Police Criticized for Not Conducting Internal Investigations

As part of its research into town policies and procedures, the DIRE Committee requested records of internal investigations at the WPD for the last 10 years.

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Williamstown Town Manager: Change in Police Leadership 'On the Table'

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.

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Williamstown's DIRE Committee: Hate Letter Adds Fuel to Our Fire

On Monday, Memfis said the letter shows that racism and hatred are not problems that happen "in other places" but real issues that impact the lives of Williamstown residents.

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DIRE Committee Concerned About 'Enough Is Enough' Messaging in Williamstown

Andrew Wells called in to the virtual meeting of the Diversity Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee to talk about the 2013 death of his daughter at the hands of a drunk driver in Plymouth.

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Williamstown Select Board Chair: Town Can't Fire Employees Over Settled Incidents

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.

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Williamstown Police Union Calls on Select Board to Have Officers' Backs

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.

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Williamstown DIRE Committee Hears Concerns About Police at Schools

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.

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Letter: Response to Bilal Ansari and DIRE

Bilal, I truly want to understand you. I truly want our community to be the best we can be. If I have not made clear my responses to any of your questions, please let us continue this conversation.

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Williamstown's Racial Equity Committee Discusses Core Principles

The Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity Committee on Monday discussed a statement of principles to guide the group's work as it seeks to work for justice in the college town of 7,700.

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Williamstown's DIRE Committee Raises Issue of Police at School

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.