Presentation from J.Marie Stevenson Mashpee Inclusion and Diversity Committee (MIDC) to Mashpee Chamber of Commerce Members
Do you know that Mashpee has a town committee for inclusion and diversity? You can learn about it on our town website. The present committee has been in existence since 2018 but there is a history. In February of 2000 The town of Mashpee joined in a state wide initiative launched by the Anti-Defamation League and became a designated No Place For Hate community. The Board of Selectmen issued a proclamation that pledged zero tolerance for hate crimes and acts of bigotry and promised to provide equal justice for all while recognizing and encouraging diversity. This proclamation was signed and supported by every town department, community organizations, businesses, houses of worship and housing complexes . A No Place for Hate committee was formed to complete at least two events yearly approved by the ADL. Unfortunately the membership dwindled and responsibilities for NPFH were handed over to the Affirmative Action Committee in 2003.
Over the ensuing years there were spurts of success but the town lost its designation from the ADL in 2006 unable to meet their requirements. There was an effort in 2007 to be reinstated and yet another proclamation was issued. Some events took place in the the ensuing years but by 2011 the ADL had gone on to other initiatives in the state, the affirmative action function was included in the human resources department, and the town NPFH committee basically disbanded. Please note that there is a regional NPFH ad hoc group based in Falmouth which offers events to which Mashpee residents are invited. Some of you may recall that some time ago Mashpee and Falmouth businesses displayed NPFH signs.
In 2017, some of you may remember that some incidents of hate and bigotry occurred in Mashpee and surrounding towns. Town manager, Rodney Collins, issued a request for volunteers who would reinstate a committee based on inclusion and diversity and thus the MIDC was formed. Considering the present state of racial unrest in the country as a whole and sadly with incidents that recently occurred in Mashpee and Cape Cod our committee has become particularly relevant and there are other communities nearby who are formulating like minded groups and forming coalitions.
As chairperson of the MIDC committee I am asking for your support, advice, and involvement in our cause. Unfortunately with the pandemic, there are no options to meet with you in person. We have some ideas we are presently considering relative to the role of the Chamber Membership: