MLK Community Breakfast Will Zoom To Belmont On Jan. 17

Photo: Rahsaan Hall is the keynote speaker at the 2022 annual MLK Community Breakfast which will once again be a virtual event

Belmont’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast, historically intended to bring the Belmont and Boston communities together in a program of unity around Dr. King’s legacy, will once again take place via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 at 9 a.m.

This year’s keynote speaker, Rahsaan Hall, director of the Racial Justice Program at American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, has chosen this year’s theme to be “The Arc and the Pendulum: The Long Journey toward Racial Justice.”

In this role, Rahsaan helps develop the ACLU’s integrated advocacy approach to addressing issues of racial justice. Through legislative advocacy, litigation and community engagement, the program works on issues that impact communities of color and historically disenfranchised communities. Rahsaan also manages the ACLU’s What a Difference a DA makes to educate residents about the power and influence of distract attorneys.

Adam Dash, Belmont’s Select Board chair, looks forward to the annual Belmont MLK event. While he
misses the in-person breakfast where people can mingle and meet, he looks forward to the perspective
each speaker brings to the presently virtual event.

“We can’t talk about race too much” and how the speaker forces local candidates for office to confront issues. Dash recalls how “blown away” he was by the MLK breakfast where former METCO students returned to give their accounts of what a difference the METCO program had made in their lives.

The Belmont Human Rights Commission, in conjunction with Belmont Against Racism and Belmont Media Center, will be the lead sponsor and organizer. The Commission is dedicated to fighting discrimination in all forms; increasing awareness of issues regarding diversity and discrimination in our community; and responding to allegations of discrimination.

Advanced registration can be found at Eventbrite at: https://bit.ly/MLKBelmont2022 For more information about this event, please contact the Commission at belmont.hrc@gmail.com or call 617-993-2795.

Mend Belmont: An Opportunity To Be Heard On Race, Inclusion On Tuesday, 7 PM

Photo: The poster for Mend Belmont

The Select Board, Human Rights Commission, and the Diversity Task Force are sponsoring a webinar series called  Mend Belmont. It is a public forum to discuss race and inclusion in Belmont. It will be a place to be heard. The forum will be moderated by Robert T. Jones.

The first night of the series is Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m.

Please click the link HERE to join the webinar by computer, tablet or smartphone.

Or Telephone, call:

1 312 626 6799 or 1 929 205 6099

When prompted, enter: 819 4570 8806 #

When prompted, enter: #

Watch it LIVE in Belmont on BMC GovTV, Ch. 8 on Comcast or Ch. 28 on Verizon

Watch from anywhere online: belmontmedia.org/govtv

Forum This Thursday To Discuss How Belmont Can Reach Goals Of Equitable, Affordable Housing

Photo: A road towards more equitable housing in Belmont

Belmont Against RacismThe Belmont Housing TrustThe Belmont Media Center, and the Belmont Human Rights Commission are hosting an informational public forum titled “Belmont’s Road to Housing Equity this Thursday, April 29 at 6:55 p.m. via Zoom or live on Belmont Media Center.

It will be an evening to explore historical and present day housing issues an how Belmont can reach its goals of equitable and affordable housing.

Zoom link at https://bit.ly/Belmonthousing

https://www.belmontmedia.org/watch/infotv or Channel 96 (Comcast) or Channel 30 (Verizon)

  • How can Belmont reach its goals of equitable and affordable housing? 
  • What’s the historical background and how does it relate to fair housing law?
  • Who shapes local housing and zoning decisions?
  • What does new zoning legislation mean for Belmont?
  • Where is Belmont today on meeting its housing goals?
  • How does Belmont fit into the wider transportation picture, with its new zoning rules and tools as well as its financial incentives for the Town?

Learn from a panel of experts as we explore these questions. There will be a Q & A opportunity.

  • State Rep. Dave Rogers(24th Middlesex District), 
  • Robert Terrell (Fair Housing, Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Boston Housing Authority and previously Executive Director of the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston); 
  • Katherine Einstein (Assistant Director of Policy at Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research); 
  • Jarred Johnson (Executive Director of TransitMatters); and
  • Judie Feins and Betsy Lipson of the Belmont Housing Trust.
  • Moderated by Rachel Heller (Co-Chair of the Belmont Housing Trust and Chief Executive Director of CHAPA.

Letter To The Editor: Human Rights Commission Condemns Abuse Directed At Belmont Police Officers

Photo: Members of the Belmont Human Rights Commission

To the editor:

The Belmont Human Rights Commission condemns the acts of hate directed at Belmont Police officers over the past months.

The recent report by Belmont Police Chief James MacIsaac to the Select Board, as reported in The Belmontonian on Sept. 14, that Belmont Police officers are facing an increasing amount of verbal abuse from some members of the public was both shocking and disturbing  (http://belmontonian.com/featured/belmont-police-officers-increasingly-targeted-with-verbal-abuse-from-the-public/).  MacIsaac reported that officers were experiencing derogatory slurs yelled at them on a weekly basis. 

While BHRC decries the Black lives that have been taken at the hands of some police officers across the country, directing anger and vitriol at members of the Belmont Police Dept., who are not those police officers, is an act of hate that BHRC strongly condemns. MacIsaac and the Belmont Police Department have supported police reforms within their own ranks, student action on Black Lives Matter, and been consistently open to dialogue with community members on issues of race and conflict. We commend them for their initiatives and their responsiveness to our community.

We all need to let our police officers know that we support their work in our community and communicate with them directly when we have a problem or complaint. Lashing out in an abusive manner is never acceptable by anyone and only contributes to the current rancor that has led to violence and discord across our country. We all need to unite together to address this kind of unacceptable abuse and make sure that Belmont is a safe place for everyone, including the officers who make up the Belmont Police Department, who are an integral part of the Belmont community.

Belmont Human Rights Commission

Virtual Candlelight Vigil On Thursday, June 4 In Response To George Floyd’s Death

Photo: The poster of Thursday’s remote vigil

In response to the murder of George Floyd and the resulting nationwide unrest, Belmont Against Racism, the Belmont Religious Council, and the Belmont Human Rights Commission are sponsoring a virtual candlelight vigil on Thursday, June 4 at 7 p.m. to be aired on Belmont Media.

Members of the clergy, Belmont Police Chief James MacIsaac, State Rep. Dave Rogers, State Sen. Will Brownsberger and others will be giving short words of comfort/comments which will be followed by asking listeners to light a candle or flashlight on their front porches.