Letter: Who are we, Concord?

January 26, 2023

A heartfelt thank you to COAR (Communities Organizing Against Racism), School DEI Director Andrew Nyamekye, and our town schools for organizing what I hope is the first of an important annual event in celebration of Dr. King’s legacy. Together a committed group of learners met to ponder the future of our children and our town as we watched Civil Rights Lawyer and Activist Jefferey Robinson’s film: Who We Are: Chronicle of Race In America. The film is part of a series of community screenings being hosted by a coalition of local organizations in Concord. Multiple groups in town are working to call our attention to the growing disparity between the welcoming and inclusive town that Concord says it wants to be, and the way that we are right now. Members of these groups are learning about their own biases, speaking up at meetings, and holding themselves and representatives on our town committees accountable for our actions. 

In recent weeks, news in town has been dominated by talk of the vote to increase funding for the middle school building project. As we look toward the building of the school, how do we envision the community and culture of this new building? How do we ensure that “who we are” is inclusive and supportive of our black and brown students, their well-being and their education and experience in Concord? I encourage all of you who mobilized people to show up for the vote to use your privilege to support those whose voices have not been heard.

I invite you to join the hard work that is needed in our community to be the welcoming town that we can be. Visiting COARaction.org and the schools’ Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) page are good ways to start.  

Kristen Hagerty

Revolutionary Road