The Brookline Select Board announces that it has come together to stand against racism toward Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, and with the help of residents has identified actionable steps the town can take to support anti-racism in the community.
The Select Board on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, voted to unanimously support the following:
“On March 18, 2021, at Brookline High School and Old Lincoln School, hundreds of people from all over Brookline gathered to show support and solidarity for Asian students and the Asian community in Brookline and across America. The people gathered with great sadness but strong resolve having learned of the horrific events that occurred March 16, 2021, in Atlanta where a shooter murdered eight people, six of whom were Asian women. The consequence of this act of barbarity has been the traumatization of people of Asian descent and their non-Asian families and friends and understandable anger and frustration. It comes at a time of increasing reports of anti-Asian racism and violence in our country. Unfortunately, this racism and violence were inflamed by the words and deeds of the previous administration in Washington which were a continuation of such racism and violence long before the previous administration impacting the Asian community and other people of color in America. Those words and deeds will have long-lasting effects that we must continuously be on guard against.
“The Select Board unequivocally condemns all forms of racism, racist and other violence, and the hatred of women that recurrently accompanies these attacks, as appears to be a factor in the Atlanta violence.
“Hatred is indivisible. And an attack against one segment of our community must be seen as an attack against us all and we all must mobilize to support and comfort the people who are most impacted and take appropriate steps to fight racist acts and injustices and support initiatives to create a safer and more inclusive Brookline for all residents, their families and friends, and all who come through Brookline.
“We also recognize that, as a community, we need to learn more about the history of achievements as well as the racism endured by Asian-Americans. We need to commit ourselves to including AAPI people in our anti-racist discourse and policymaking. And we need to engage more deeply with our AAPI neighbors and business owners and support their efforts to build power, ensuring that their perspectives are represented everywhere decisions are being made.
“The Select Board supports the work of the Brookline Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations to identify resources and local initiatives that can provide support and comfort to persons subject to racist attacks and the Office’s continuing collaboration with community groups like the Brookline Asian American Family Network (BAAFN) to provide anti-Asian racism discussions and educational and advocacy programming.”
The board also accepted a petition with more than 250 signatures, many of them from town officials, rejecting hate, racism, violence, discrimination, and threats in general and the xenophobia and misogyny displayed by the Atlanta murders specifically.
Community members speaking during the meeting asked the Select Board to both issue a statement and to take concrete action to stem hatred and violence and create a more equitable Brookline. The statement and its signatories may be found here.
Resources for community members, and ways to be an ally:
- If a member of the Brookline community is a victim of a hate crime, or knows someone who is a victim, they are asked to call the Brookline Police Department at 617-730-2222.
- If Brookline community members believe their rights have been violated by a company, business, they may file a complaint with the Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General’s Office by calling 617-963-2917 or 617-727-4765 (TTY). You also may file a complaint on the Attorney General’s Office website here.
- Community members are urged to learn more about this issue by visiting Stop AAPI Hate here.
- Community members are invited to the Support the Brookline Asian Community Vigil scheduled for Friday, March 26, 2021, at 04:00 p.m., at Brookline High School, 115 Greenough Street. The vigil will be led by Brookline High School students and alumni.
To find out more about the vigil, please visit here.