Brookline is soon to be plastered in posters welcoming visitors to the community in 28 different languages.
On Feb. 10, the Commission for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations led a team of community members on a mission to distribute those welcome posters to local businesses, public buildings, offices and places of worship. On Feb. 11, the commission held a unity event to celebrate the signs and thank volunteers.
Bright and colorful, the posters send a simple message – all are welcome.
The inspiration for the posters came from the signs that popped up around town with slogans that stated “We don’t care where you’re from, we’re glad you’re here” and “Hate has no home here.”
The core of those messages resonated with Commission Chair Kelly Race and other members, and they thought that having the same sign hanging all over Brookline would send a message not just of welcome but of united welcome.
“It’s difficult times right now, and we want to say that Brookline is a welcoming community,” Race said.
In designing the poster, the commission wanted a positive message that started positive rather than with a negative idea like some of the signs that had popped up around town.
“We just didn’t like that idea, ‘we don’t care,’” Race said. “Wouldn’t it be nicer, ‘we do care’?”
In addition to the positive message of welcome, the poster emphasizes the importance of diversity with the phrase “Diversity strengthens Brookline” stretching out below the image of a tree.
“The ‘Diversity strengthens Brookline’ is important because it does,” said Race. “It is the core of this community.”
So far the response to the posters has been positive, Race said.
In addition to local businesses, Race said the posters have gone up in town buildings and the police department. According to Race, Superintendent Andrew Bott has also been supportive and is working to bring the posters to Brookline schools.
In distributing the posters, Race said the commission is mainly focused on bringing the posters to public spaces where they will be seen, as opposed to residences. The commission has also talked of putting up signs on the street lights as well, according to Race.
Over the past few days the commission has distributed around 400 posters, according to Race, and even more will be distributed in the days to come.
Those interested in receiving a poster should contact the Department of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations.