Dear Council members:

After yet another New England winter, the emergence of crocuses and daffodils from the newly defrosted ground is a welcome sight. Given the long winter and grim economic news, political scandals and seemingly endless violence around the world, it would be easy to feel that we have little individual impact on such intractable problems. It would be easy to turn our backs on local human rights issues, since there is so much else to attend to in the larger community. But Mahatma Gandhi encourages us to be the change we want to see in the world, and so we keep on. Fortunately there are many people of hope and good will in Concord and Carlisle who actively support the goals of the Human Rights Council, who are encouraging all of us to create a climate of tolerance, understanding, and respect for differences within our community.

In an effort to recognize local groups’ special achievements in promoting a “climate for freedom” in our towns, the C-CHRC is seeking nominations for our seventh biannual Climate for Freedom Award, to be presented in December at the Human Rights Day Breakfast. Previous winners have included the Concord Police Department, Concord Prison Outreach, Open Table, and The Greeley Foundation. More details and application forms are available in the Town Houses and libraries in Concord and Carlisle, or by visiting our website at www.cchumanrights.org. Please send us your nominations!

We hope that you will be able to join us for our 28th Annual Holocaust Memorial Observance at 7:30 pm on Sunday, May 4th, sponsored by the Concord Board of Selectmen. Polish survivor Hyme Hipsman, father of Concord resident Irwin Hipsman, will tell his story. Rosalie Gerut, cantor at Kerem Shalom and daughter of survivors, will perform her original music. The Concord Board of Selectmen will issue a Proclamation on April 14 declaring the week of April 27 – May 4 as Concord’s official Days of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust.

We are also very excited to report that we are progressing quickly in our plans for the Black Heritage and Abolitionists’ Trail, now known as “The Drinking Gourd Project.” Please see the article inside and our website for more details!

We wish you a peaceful and joyous spring, and we look forward to seeing you at upcoming events.

Molly Carocci & Polly Attwood
Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council Co-chairs

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