Human Relations Committee

The Maynard Human Relations Committee works to promote human rights, personal dignity and positive relations between all residents and visitors to the Town of Maynard.

Letter from Maynard Select Board and the Human Relations Committee on Asian Violence

23-July-2021: As many of you know, there has been a recent and dramatic rise in violence and discrimination against Asian and Asian American people in the United States and around the globe. Reports of horrific violence aimed Asian people in this nation continue to emerge. These actions are always devastating – to individuals, to families and whole communities, across ethnic and “racial” lines. This is particularly sad and disturbing at a time when we are seeking to emerge from a deadly pandemic that has left so many grieving and debilitated and when we should be coming together for mutual aid and healing. The Maynard Human Relations Committee and the Maynard Select Board write to you today to express our deep sadness at this targeted violence and we wish to offer our support and care to the Asian members of our community.

Please read the full letter which details Maynard’s response and a list of resources.

Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15-October 15

Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated throughout the latter half of September and the first half of October, began as a way to promote the history, culture, and contributions of Hispanic-Americans — specifically, those whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Communities mark the achievements of Hispanic and Latino Americans with festivals and educational activities. Hispanic Heritage Month starts on September 15 to honor the independence anniversary of five Latin American Countries—El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. The independence days of Mexico and Chile fall on September 16th and September 18th, respectively.

Image credit: Carlos Francisco Jackson, Breaking the Fast, 1968, 2012, screenprint on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Drs. Harriett and Ricardo Romo, 2019.50.2 Breaking the Fast, 1968 | Smithsonian American Art Museum

Getty Images: THE NOSOTROS COLLECTION

Getty Images is proud to present the Nosotros Collection, an initiative that aims to reimagine the visual representation of the Latinx/Hispanic community within the North America media and advertising landscape, using rich, carefully curated still and video content to tell stories in a voice that belongs to the community.

National Hispanic American Heritage Month 2020  (.gov resources)

Celebrating Jewish New Year

The Human Relations Committee wishes our Jewish neighbors and friends a Happy New Year! 

(Thank you to Kathleen’s colleague, Tal SebellShavit, for this helpful, informative write up.)

Tuesday, September 8 is Rosh Hashanah רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה – the Jewish New Year.  The word “Rosh” means “head”.  “Shanah” is year.  So it translates to “head [of] the year”.  In celebration, it is traditional to eat apples and honey to symbolize the fall harvest and a sweet new year.  The holiday starts the evening of the 6th and goes through Wednesday evening.  Some may only celebrate the first day (Monday night into Tuesday), while others may celebrate both days.

Typical greetings for the holiday are:

  • “Shana tova” שנה טובה (happy new year)
  • “Le’Shana tova” לְשנה טובה (to a happy new year)
  • “Le’Shana tova oo’metuaka” לְשנה טובה וּמְתוּקָה (to a happy and sweet new year)

Thursday, September 16th – Observance of Yom Kippur יוֹם כִּיפּוּר – the day of atonement (and a day of fasting).  Folx who observe this holiday often go to services the night before, the day of, and then a break-fast meal in the evening.

Typical greetings for the holiday are:

  • “Tzom Kal”  צוֹם קַל   ( [may you have an] easy fast)
  • “Gmar Chatima Tova” גְּמַר חֲתִימָה טוֹבָה (Good final seal.  Implied meaning is: May you be sealed for good in the Book of Life)

Monday Sept 20 – Monday Sept 27 is Sukkot סוכות‎ .  It commemorates the 40 years that the Jews spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land, and celebrates the way in which God protected them under difficult desert conditions. Sukkot is also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, or the Feast of Booths.  Traditionally, families build a sukkah, or temporary hut.  The roof must be made of something grown in the Earth – In Israel that’s often palm leaves.  In Massachusetts Maple branches work well.  All meals for the week are eaten in the sukkah.  Services are usually the first and last night.

Typical greeting “Chag Sameach” חַג שָׂמֵחַ  (Happy Holiday)

One thing to note is that in Jewish observances, holidays typically begin at sundown the night before.  We call this “erev ____”.
Erev = evening.

Here is a youtube playlist that has lots of pronunciation of holidays and greetings in Hebrew.

June – Pride Month

Wishing all members of the LGBTQ+ community a celebratory, safe and joyful Pride Month!

LGBTQ’s fight for civil rights, explained (USA TODAY)

Celebrating Juneteenth

Juneteenth and the meaning of Black liberation in Boston (Boston Globe)

Washington Post Video: The history behind Juneteenth and why it resonates today

General Order #3
Issued by General Gordon Granger “19th of June”, 1865 Galveston, TX

“The people are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property, between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them, become that between employer and hired labor. The freed are advised to remain at their present homes, and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

 

Members

  • Chris DiSilva, Chair of the Select Board – Liaison
  • Mike Noble, Chief, Maynard Police Department – 3 years
  • School Department: TBD – 3 years
  • Business: Eliot Prisby (Metrowest Kung Fu) – 3 years
  • Michael Lisasa – 3 years
  • Kathleen K. Fitzgerald – 2 years
  • Caroline Mahiti – 2 years
  • Shionneka Warren
  • Clergy: TBD  – 1 year

  Learn more about our committee members.

 

Contact the Committee

The Maynard Human Relations Committee is asking the community…

  • What culturally and historically  significant events would you like to see acknowledged, honored, memorialized and/or celebrated in town?
  • What events, holidays, days of remembrance are important to you and your family?

You can send an email to the chair of the Human Relations Committee at: hrc@townofmaynard.net

 

Meetings

 

Resources