by Richard Yamartino

On June 10, residents of Concord and surrounding communities celebrated the second Race Amity Day on Monument Square in Concord Center.

Sponsored by the CCHRC and the Concord Baha’i Community, the event stems from the National Center for Race Amity, an organization founded at Wheelock College in Brookline that is dedicated to promoting friendship and discussion around race.

Likening the human race to the diverse flowers in a single garden, Rich Yamartino, member of the CCHRC and the Concord Baha’i Community, started the event by explaining its purpose: to bring community members together in celebration and collaboration around an issue that plagues society. He emphasized that unity in diversity, the central principal of the Baha’i faith, should be recognized and celebrated throughout our country.

Concord Select Board member Jane Hotchkiss read the town Proclamation for Race Amity Day, an echo of the statewide Proclamation by Gov. Charlie Baker made several years ago. This dedicates the second Sunday in June as Race Amity Day throughout the state of Massachusetts. Following the proclamation were inspirational quotes around unity, race, and friendship from a wide variety of traditions and sources.

About 60 attendees participated in an hour-long drumming workshop led by Jon Mande of Drumming and Wellness aimed at developing listening, communication, collaboration and self-expression in the context of celebrating differences. The group explored rhythm together and created music.

“The goal of the event was to encourage a widening embrace of the value of all people, our collective diversity, and to emphasize that our community is dedicated to promoting unity,” said Bre Vader, an organizing member of the Baha’i Community of Concord who attended with her husband and four children. “For our family and our community, this is an incredibly important issue to address head-on. We are proud to live in a community where others are committed to this dialogue and celebrate our differences.”