Tonight the Social Services Human Relations Board is having a really important meeting to get input from the community as to what positive steps can be taken to respond to the bias motivated events locally and nationally.
The most recent event was, of course, the graffiti at Edison. There was also garbage dumped on the doorstep of the Islamic Center the day after the election which could have been a really unfortunate coincidence, but when taken with the reports of bias related events across the country is hard to dismiss as a coincidence.
From the agenda item:
At its meeting of July 27, 2016, in response to concerns voiced by some Alameda residents regarding the impact recent and ongoing racially and bias-motivated events across our nation might have on our community, the Board authorized then Vice-President Williams to craft a letter sharing the concerns it had received from members of the community and offering the Board’s assistance in organizing and facilitating a community-wide dialogue. (ATTACHMENT B An Open Letter to the Leaders in our Community)
In late August, the letter was sent to the media, Alameda groups advocating for non-
discrimination and social justice (Black Achievers Alliance, Alameda Unified School District’s (AUSD) Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer / Questioning Roundtable, AUSD’s Encinal High School Black Student Union, AUSD’s ALCANCE (Latino Roundtable, Alameda All Faiths Coalition), and the Alameda Police Department (APD) and Police Officer’s Association (POA). The letter was also published as a letter to the editor in both the SUN and the Alameda Journal.
Having received a number of positive responses to its Letter to the Editor, and in light of community actions following the November Presidential election, including student and community-wide protests and vigils, and racist graffiti at one of our elementary schools, President Williams has called a special meeting of the Board. The purpose of the meeting is to invite Alamedans to share their concerns, and acknowledge and celebrate recent community-building events and activities such as the Unity Picnic hosted by AUSD’s Black Achievers Alliance, and to make recommendations about future events or activities that may foster good will in the Alameda community.
Also, there is a group organizing on Facebook to promote similar positive and inclusive actions in Alameda. You’ll have to request to join but it’s called Alameda Comes Together; Now.