Statement of Berlin Selectmen Condemning Racism

Co-authored by the Board and unanimously approved June 15, 2020

Right now, our country is struggling with two pandemics, one that can be solved by medical expertise and careful preventative measures and another with heart-felt words and deliberate actions. One started mere months ago, although it feels far longer to all of us, and the other has persisted many, many years. Racism has a very long history. We do not get to choose the moment where change can be made. While it may seem inconvenient or ill-timed, it is incumbent on us to recognize this opportunity and to take the actions we can to combat racism wherever it appears.

The Berlin Select Board condemns racism in all its many forms. We recognize the majority of protests are peaceful and a very legitimate public outcry for justice long denied to people of color and should not be overshadowed by the actions of a few promoting violence nor by COVID-19.

Change starts at the local level. While this may sometimes seem like a hopelessly large and distant problem, we can all contribute to the solution. It is our responsibility as both individuals and a community to foster the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe that as a community we can use this opportunity to have those difficult conversations that will lead to a better world where all members of our society are treated equally no matter their skin color. The Board hereby commits to establishing policies that respect all human beings and support racial equity, and to promoting moments of honest, empathetic discourse.

The Board further commits to supporting the human rights of all and condemning discrimination, and shall state in its meeting agendas: “The Town of Berlin does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, disability, veteran status, genetic information, homelessness, citizenship or any other class protected by state or federal law.”

Christine Keefe – Chair
Lisa Wysocki –Vice Chair
Margaret “Peg” Stone – Clerk