^^ Westfield Dr. has been closed. No Thru Traffic until further notice. ^^
TODAY is Administrative Professionals Day.
>> Dog License Deadline: April 30th. Avoid the $50 Late Fee. <<
April is Autism Awareness Month.
Hydrant Flushing update April 24. Washington St., Curve St.

Diverse Holliston Hosts a Community Conversation

by Chris Cain
January 18, 2019

Many residents accepted the invitation extended by Diverse Holliston to discuss hate symbols in the community.  The conversation took place in the Adams Middle School auditorium on January 16th.

The conversation was prompted by the discovery of a swastika on the Placentino playground late last year.  From the perspective of the panel members, the use of such a hate symbol has one goal – to create fear in a large portion of the population.

The panel consisted of (L – R): Rev Nathan Detering; Rabbi Jennifer Rudin; Rabbi Steven Edelman Blank; Dr. Barbara Fritts; and Dr. Bradford Jackson.  The conversation was moderated by Michelle Diamond (at podium) representing Diverse Holliston.

Dr. Jackson led with a review of curriculum offered at each school level / grade.  In the earliest grades, students learn: “If you see something, say something.”  Dr. Jackson pointed out that the symbol was discovered and reported by a second-grade student.  He shared several other examples of the school district’s theme of Diversity, Acceptance, and Respect.  The timing of this conversation was important to those from the school community in attendance.  A K – 12 curriculum review of these topics is about to begin and insights from the community will be important in shaping future curricula.

Rabbis Blank and Rudin connected today’s hate symbol with its non-hateful origins to its use during the Holocaust.  Whether the fear created by the symbol is rational or irrational, it achieves the desired effect of intimidation.  Rev. Detering shared the powerful message from Martin Niemoller’s poem, “First they came for . . .”; reminding us to never be silent when we see injustice.  Dr. Fritts wrapped up the panel’s insights by sharing some strategies for having difficult conversations.  If we avoid having the tough discussions, we are allowing the bad actors to continue and perhaps embolden them to greater harmful acts.

Next, Michelle Diamond asked the panel a provocative multi-part question, “Why Hate?  Why Now? What can we do about it?”  Rabbi Blank and Dr. Jackson responded with different powerful one-word answers.  Rabbi Blank believes Pride - in who you are and your heritage, repels such attempts at intimidation.  Dr. Jackson used Modeling.  It is through the adults’ behaviors and words (in all aspects of their life) that set the tone for the next generation.

Then the conversation turned to the many people in the audience. 

To paraphrase the little blues signs, hate should not have a home here. Thank you, Diverse Holliston, for helping our community bring out into the open those difficult conversations that will make us a more inclusive society.

 

 

 

 

E-mail This Article

Comments (0)

Advertisement

Advertisement

Recent Articles by Chris Cain:

Holliston Community Calendar - April 2019

Continue ...

Holliston Community Calendar - April 2019

1

Continue ...

Holliston Community Calendar - April 2019

Continue ...

Select Board Has Busy Night

Continue ...

Sustainability Coordinator Panel Discussion

1

Continue ...

Advertisement

Recent Articles in Schools:

Breaking the Stigma: Recovery Advocacy & Addiction Awareness

by Anne Buckley

Mindshare, Holliston PTO's Parent Education Program, presents Tony Hoffman, former BMX Pro, at Adams Middle School, Tuesday April 30, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Continue ...

Walking School Bus Stepped Off on Earth Day Morning

by Yvette Cain

Mae Errickson, Abby Berkov, Margaret Morton, and Brody Cashman, along with their police escort, are ready to 'board the walkinig school bus' at the Holliston Baptist Church.

Continue ...

Holliston Community Calendar - April 2019

by Chris Cain

Continue ...

Concession Stand Burns to the Ground

by Bobby Blair

1

Continue ...

Hockey Tryouts April 22

by Press Release

Continue ...

Advertisement