Race relations in Gloucester, including findings of a new community survey, will be the focus when the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation conducts its annual observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, on Monday, January 17, 2022.Three local organizations have been invited to take part in a forum titled “The Racial Climate in Gloucester: What Lies Ahead,” beginning at 2 p.m. that day.
The keynote speaker will be Brian Saltsman, director of Student Diversity and Inclusion at Alfred University in upstate New York, a leading advocate of addressing community issues between dominant and marginalized racial, ethnic or economic sectors as allies, a process known as “allyship.”
The invited presenting organizations are:
- The Gloucester Racial Justice Team, reporting on a survey that assessed how much people of color “feel like they have a sense of community and belong in the city, including how race and ethnicity play a role in their daily lives,” according to GRJT spokesperson Gaily Seavey.
- The North Shore Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) which most recently has focused on racism issues within Danvers High School athletic teams. A branch leader will discuss the North Shore branch’s activities across a region stretching from Lynn to New Hampshire.
- The Diversity and Equity Committee of the Gloucester 400th Anniversary celebration, which is researching narrative stories that accurately depict racial and ethnic relationships since European settlement began displacing the native, indigenous Pennacook-Abenaki peoples. This will include years of slave ownership and maritime commerce in the global slave trade.
This the sixth year of programs conducted by the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation that are focused on the legacy of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. The Foundation is a nonsectarian, federally recognized nonprofit organization to promote preservation and active community use of the architecturally distinguished 1806 Meetinghouse on Middle Street, one block off Main Street in downtown Gloucester. The Meetinghouse is the home of the GloucesterUnitarian Universalist Church. Donations to GMF are tax-deductible to the extent of the law.
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