Andover DIVERSE

ANDOVER DIVERSE

Andover DIVERSE (Diversity, Inclusion, Values, Respect, Support and Education) is a Division focused on advancing community-driven initiatives and engagement with the goal of building a more inclusive Andover.

The first order of business in this effort was to invest in a Diversity Audit; a process designed to gain an appreciation of the experiences of the Andover community where race, racism, equity, justice and inclusion are concerned.   

To that end, the Town engaged the services of Consultant Richard Pinderhughes of Visions, Inc. and concurrently populated a DIVERSE Working Group of interested community volunteers whom, together, would work to steer this data gathering effort. To date this team has:

  •  Crafted and launched a community-wide survey 
  • Designed and launched a series of 24 community focus groups to engage in conversation about racism, equity, justice and inclusion with those wishing to voice their experiences
  • Crafted a proposed structure and mission for a permanent Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion which was successfully enabled by Andover’s Select Board

 2021 Objectives

  • Interview and appoint members of the Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 
  • Receive the final report on Andover’s Diversity Audit
  • Chart a course forward to make actionable progress on building a more diverse and inclusive community
  • Assign/adequately resource the Andover DIVERSE Division with the staff support required to ensure sustainable forward momentum 


NEWS AND UPDATES

July 21, 2021 

Women’s Intercultural Sharing Club

This group gathers weekly to share and discuss different cultures, their backgrounds and their identity with the explicit goal of empowering women through the creation of a safe space to connect with others.   

WISC flyer PNG

July 15, 2021 

 

Earlier this week, a North Andover resident received a threatening anti-Semitic and homophobic message at their home. Sadly, this was the second reported incident of harassment in the town over the last month. These incidents of hatred are happening with more frequency, especially closer to home. 


Andover's Commission on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion stands with our North Andover neighbors in condemning these actions and the hatred behind them. We remain committed to partnering with communities across the Merrimack Valley to help create safe spaces in our neighborhoods that are free from hatred, racism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia. Praise to the North Andover Police Department for investigating this incident as a hate crime. 


JULY 12, 2021




Due to weather conditions Israeli night will be held tomorrow, Tuesday July 13th. Join us on the Common!

Andover Town Commons, Bartlet Street

Free and open to all.

Bring a chair, blankets for a fun family night!

israeli night



June 30, 2021

 

Andover Commission on DEI

Public Statement

 

On June 28th - at the Black and Brown Owned Outdoor Market’s first summer event in Haverhill - attendees witnessed three openly armed men placing stickers of the flag of the Patriot Front, a white supremacist group, on cars in the parking lot. There is little doubt that these cowardly actions were intended to intimidate all in attendance.

 

The actions of this hate group are repugnant. We condemn their shameless tactics and their hatred. 

 

Andover’s Commission on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion fully supports Merrimack Valley Black and Brown Voices and will partner with community organizations to help create safe spaces that are free from hatred and racism.  




Town of Andover launches 

Monday Nights on the Common:

Celebrating our Cultures

 

 

The public is invited to join friends and neighbors for a new Monday Nights on the Common series Celebrating our Cultures. The events are free and open to the public.

 

Organized by the Town of Andover’s Community Services Department and a working group of volunteers, the series brought together many community members who were interested in putting together an evening of arts, culture and celebration with the express intent of highlighting the many different cultures in our community. 

 

Monday Nights, 7:00 pm. Rain date Tuesday night

Andover Town Commons, Bartlet Street

Free and open to all.

Bring a chair, blankets for a fun family night!

 

This summer’s events include:

 

Monday, June 28th 7:00 pm 

An educator’s perspective on the Strength of our Differences 

Movie: Monster’s University

Activity: Free printable Monster’s U activity sheets at: momendeavors.com

 

Monday, July 12, 7:00 pm

Celebrating Israeli Culture

Movie: Operation Egg

Activities: Games and activities for kids and adults with the Israeli Scouts

Food: Bonapita Mediterranean Restaurant will deliver your pre-ordered food. Visit Bonapita.com

 

Monday, July 19, 7:00 pm

Indian Night: A Glimpse of our Culture

Movie: Dangal

Activity: Henna Art 

 

Monday, July 26, 7:00 pm

Celebrating Chinese Culture

Movie: Monster Hunt

Activities: Chinese Zither, GongFu demonstration, jump rope performance, calligraphy and paper cutting activities and traditional Chinese games.

Karma Andover will deliver your pre-ordered food to you on the common. Visit karmaandover.com

 

Contact: Jemma Lambert; Jemma.lambert@andoverma.us   978.623.8312. 





Juneteenth Andover 2021 detailpingcelebrating our cultures ping 21second Community Forum flyer






Juneteenth Andover 2021 save the date park on bartlet




April 30, 2021

The final report of Andover’s Diversity Audit is complete and available for the public’s review. Please see the link in the blue box at the top-left of this page. 

 

The report findings and recommendations will be presented to the Select Board by its Author, Rick Pinderhughes of Visions Consulting this coming Monday evening, May 3rd at 7:00 PM. This presentation can be viewed on Andover TV (Comcast channel 22, Verizon channel 45) and live streamed via Andovertv.org.


The report will be presented to the community at an upcoming Community Forum. More information on that event to follow.

 

The Town of Andover would like to thank and recognize the following citizen volunteers for their unwavering commitment to seeing the Diversity Audit through to completion over these many months:

 

Mary Pritchard

Dana Allen Walsh

Nicki Wiggins

Elizabeth Walther-Grant

Jorge Allen

 

The newly formed Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will now begin their work on these most important matters.

 

Thanks to all who took the time to share their experiences, opinions and thoughts with the Town. Your voices have been heard.

 

Regards,

 

Jemma Lambert, Director

Andover Community Services     

 

  


April 14, 2021


Wednesday, April 14th Courageous Conversations welcomes the team from UTEC to talk about their program of positive justice in the Merrimack Valley.  This will be our fourth event in the "In Search of Justice" series.  

 

Following on Wed., April 28, Courageous Conversations will host a conversation reflecting on what we have learned led by Jean Trounstine.  This evening is for those who have attended at least one of the events in this series.   

 

On Wed., May 12, Courageous conversations will co-sponsor with the Social Justice Coalition of South Church and evening called Parole 101: The Massachusetts Parole System and Why it Needs to Change.

 

Wednesday, April 14 @ 7:00 p.m.: "What Positive Justice Looks Like" Panel Discussion with UTEC Executive Director, Gregg Croteau and members of the UTEC program in Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill

Register through Zoom

UTEC's team will join us to discuss their nationally recognized model which begins with intensive street outreach, correctional facility in-reach, and gang peacemaking, engaging our most disconnected young adults by meeting them “where they’re at.” 

 

Courageous Conversations: A Virtual Reflection on 'In Search of Justice'

https://mhl.org/adult-program/2021/courageous-conversations-virtual-reflection-search-justice

 

Jean Trounstine

 Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - 7:00pm

The Winter/Spring Courageous Conversations series, In Search of Justice, has focused on race and the criminal legal system. If you attended any or all of the events, you had an opportunity to hear powerful stories from people with life experience which may be very different from your own. You also heard about practices and policies which may have upset you, surprised you, or merely been new to your way of thinking.

This event is an opportunity for you to reflect on what you heard and to share your thoughts in a small group setting in conversation with others. Educator and author Jean Trounstine will facilitate. Jean may ask some questions to get the conversation started. For example, what is an assumption you had before you came to one of the events that was challenged by a moment, experience, or voice in that event? How do you reflect on this assumption now?

There are 20 spaces and registration is limited to those who have attended a Courageous Conversations event in this series. This event will be a Zoom meeting. We would like everyone to be on camera as this will be an interactive conversation.

Registrants will receive the Zoom link the day before the event.

This program is a collaboration of Memorial Hall Library and Courageous Conversations.

Register online or by calling 978-623-8430.

Courageous Conversations: Parole 101: The Massachusetts Parole System And Why It Needs To Change

https://mhl.org/adult-program/2021/courageous-conversations-parole-101-massachusetts-parole-system-and-why-it-needs

 

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 7:00pm

An event designed to raise awareness about parole and change hearts and minds about the importance/difficulties of parole in Massachusetts. Panelists include two formerly incarcerated people on parole, Representative Liz Miranda who has filed several parole bills for 2021-22, Attorney Patricia Garin, one of the foremost parole experts in Massachusetts, and moderator Jean Trounstine, professor, writer and activist who has written extensively about parole.

Register through Zoom.

A collaboration of Courageous Conversations, Memorial Hall Library and the Social Justice Coalition of South Church. 



March 30, 2021

 

This week Andover WECAN: Working to Educate for Climate Action Now begins its first program in our three part "Beyond the Bin"  virtual series on recycling, food waste/composting, and trash in our community.  This series is presented in partnership with Memorial Hall Library.

 

Thursday, April 1 @ 7:00 p.m.: Is Recycling Still Alive? Neil Rhein, Keep Massachusetts Beautiful with Sandra Gerraughty and Rachel Ciaramitaro, Andover DPW

Are you confused about what goes in your trash bin and what goes in your recycling bin? You’re not alone! This evening's speakers will talk about what really happens to our trash and recyclables here in Andover and how trash and recycling are managed in Massachusetts. Learn how to make informed decisions about your own personal habits. Learn ways to reduce the amount of trash you generate, improve your recycling habits, and make small changes to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. 

For more information and link to register for all three events, please visit:

https://andoverwecan.org/events

Upcoming programs in the series:

Thursday, April 15 @ 7:00 p.m. - Andover WECAN Beyond the Bin: Don't Throw Your Spaghetti in the Fireplace - presentation by Julia Greene, MA DEP with Sandra Gerraughty and Rachel Ciaramitaro, Andover DPW

Thursday, April 29 @ 7:00 p.m. - Andover WECAN Beyond the Bin: Trash - Can We Do Better?  - presentation by Waneta Trabert, VP MassRecyle



March 23, 2021


Andover Diverse sends our support and condolences to our Asian and Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) neighbors, friends, and community members affected by the horrific acts of violence to their communities. The eight murders in Atlanta, Georgia, six of which were perpetrated against Asian-American women leave us heartbroken and sad. 


We acknowledge the AAPI community has experienced heightened racism and violence throughout the pandemic. Sadly, hatred and discrimination against Asian Americans is nothing new in our country - whether it is a history of immigration laws and internment camps or stereotypical depictions or name-calling and slurs; we must work harder to learn about the experiences of our AAPI community members and fight together for social change. 


10 March, 2021


Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

 

Andover’s Select Board unanimously approved the creation of a permanent Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion whose charge is to combat the realities of racism and intolerance in Andover by supporting programs, initiatives, education, outreach policies and institutional change which contribute to an inclusive Andover; a community which embraces tolerance, inclusiveness and respect for all.    

 

It is recognized that actions perceived by many in Andover as racist, whether intentional or not, harm people of color in our community and cause many to feel unsafe, intimidated or threatened. Each injury is unacceptable. 

 

This work is ongoing. Together, Town leadership and residents will craft effective solutions to identified challenges. The Town is committed to ensuring that all residents of Andover are safe and free from racism, discrimination and hate.

     

Some 50 applications were received; a record for the Town and a testament to the commitment to and interest in these important matters. Two rounds of interviews were conducted in recent weeks, with the following Town Manager appointments confirmed by the Select Board:     

 

Members At Large

Wael Kamal

Basenal Dessin

Kavita Goyal

Sandis Wright

Shishan Wang

Lisa Cascio

 

Student Representatives

Jack Glavin

Peyton Levental

Olivia Lu-Alba

 

Clergy Representatives

Rev. Dana Allen Walsh

Rabbi Howard Mandell

 

APS Representative

Jorge Allen

 

Phillips Academy Representative

Monica Reum

 

APD Representative

Lt. Frank Fitzpatrick

 

At Large Alternative Members

George Nugent

Rajiv Chopra

 

Select Board Representative

Laura Gregory

 

School Committee Representative

TBD

 

Staff Liaison

Jemma Lambert, Director, Community Services

 

The Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will hold its first meeting on March 23rd, a virtual session that will be re-broadcast on Andover TV. 

 


February 3, 2021

Courageous Conversations: The Injustice of This Moment is Not an Aberration

 Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - 7:00pm

From mass incarceration to mass deportation, our nation remains in deep denial." -- Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Register through Zoom.

Stacy Seward, Executive Director of The Dream Networkin Lawrence will facilitate a virtual conversation based on Michelle Alexander's compelling 2013 talk which addresses the issue of mass incarceration - The future of race in America: Michelle Alexander at TEDxColumbus. Attendees are encouraged to watch Alexander's talk ahead of time. Hosted by Courageous Conversations, in collaboration with Memorial Hall Library and Haverhill Public Library. Alexander's January 17, 2020 opinion piece in The New York Times revisits the issues she raised in 2010 with The New Jim Crow and in 2013 at TEDxColumbus.

About the facilitator: Stacy Seward (she, her, hers) holds a Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Psychology and Counseling from UNC Chapel Hill.  She has also earned a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) in Counselor Education and is an experienced clinician and instructor. Stacy has earned a mediation certificate and is a diversity professional whose practice centers around the social and psychological dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). In 2018, Stacy was elected to the Lawrence School Committee and spent her time there advocating for educational and racial equity for LPS students. She has consulted with multiple schools and  non-profit organizations assisting them with DE&I initiatives leading to institutional shifts.  Stacy provides equity centered technical assistance for Department of Justice grantees in programs across the nation, while helping connect systemic racism, incarceration, and reentry to root cause factors. Finally, Stacy is the Executive Director of The Dream Network in Lawrence Massachusetts. Her role is to use growth mindset ideology to impact racial, social, economic, educational, and environmental justice movements in her community.

Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, legal scholar and author of The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness — the bestselling book that helped to transform the national debate on racial and criminal justice in the United States. Since The New Jim Crow was first published in 2010, it has spent nearly 250 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and has been cited in judicial decisions and adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads, and has inspired a generation of racial justice activists motivated by Alexander’s unforgettable argument that “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”

Over the years, Alexander has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor of law and directed the Civil Rights Clinic. In 2005, Alexander won a Soros Justice Fellowship that supported the writing of The New Jim Crow and accepted a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Currently she is a visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.

Upcoming programs in the series:

3/10/2021 @ 7:00 PM - We Need to Talk About An Injustice: The Work of Bryan Stevenson with author and activist Jean Trounstine and defense attorney Alicia McNeil
4/14/2021 @ 7:00 PM - What Positive Justice Looks Like: A Panel Discussion with UTEC (United Teen Equality Center) (Breaking Barriers to Youth Success)



January 27, 2021


Andover's Commission on Disability Celebrates its 25th Anniversary


The Town of Andover has benefitted from the skills, energy and talents of the members of the Commission on Disability for 2 1/2 decades. Check out the accomplishments of the commission here:


25th Anniversary Newsletter 


January 26, 2021


Share your stories and perspectives about the racial climate in Andover.

  

In response to requests from community members the Town of Andover has re-scheduled the focus group for members of Merrimac Valley Black and Brown Voices.  We welcome you to register and share your experiences with us.

 

This virtual conversation will be facilitated by VISIONS, Inc., Andover’s consulting partner in this important work. These focus groups will provide an opportunity for those that wish to speak to be heard. 


The process is designed to collect information about the racial climate in Andover, including strengths, challenges and desired outcomes as well as to provide a chance for participants to share their experiences, interpersonally, institutionally and culturally in and around these critical matters.

The focus group will have a limited number of slots for the 50-minute sessions, so please register early if you’d like to participate!  

The focus group is confidential and any/all notes taken during the session will be anonymous. Only registered participants and the facilitator will be present for this 50 minute virtual session.

 We will send out confirmations to those registered for the groups.

 If you have not had a chance to fill out the online survey yet, please do so here:

 https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Andover_asst_2020

 

FOCUS GROUP SIGN-UP LINK

 

Merrimac Valley Black and Brown Voices, Wednesday, February 10th, 6:00 pm

 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1bSYhd9OEyQ_tOagobRD05tv8bZYYSf9I0QPZEceT_NE/edit



January 21, 2021

NEW Focus Groups 

In response to requests from community members the Town of Andover has added three new focus groups to the Town's Diversity Audit; Youth of Color, White Youth and Multiracial families. We welcome you to register and share your experiences with us.


This series of virtual conversations will be facilitated by VISIONS, Inc., Andover’s consulting partner in this important work. These focus groups will provide an opportunity for those that wish to speak to be heard. 

The process is designed to collect information about the racial climate in Andover, including strengths, challenges and desired outcomes as well as to provide a chance for participants to share their experiences, interpersonally, institutionally and culturally in and around these critical matters.

The focus groups will have a limited number of slots for the 50-minute sessions, so please register early if you’d like to participate!  

The focus groups will consist of several demographics salient to the Andover community. Please sign up as early as possible in order to be able to participate in a group. 

 PLEASE SIGN UP FOR ONE GROUP ONLY.

 We will send out confirmations to those registered for the groups.

 If you have not had a chance to fill out the online survey yet, please do so here:

 https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Andover_asst_2020

FOCUS GROUP LINKS

Please sign up for the group that you feel best represents you:


Youth of Color focus group, February 8th, 5:00 pm: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1hSogj_mUX5LvJ-XWOOa5ZEZgSowxEwBK2c8i6t1x4Ec/edit

 

White youth focus group, February 8th, 5:00 pm: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1gipl3WbIUNiW6iynUJ5LYk_qCNsxNGTWjKsM5SZ_G1A/edit

                                   

Multiracial family member focus group, February 9th, 6:00 pm: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1v6t3aHGq1bVcOvJpOz-PcULJJ2-PAzgkyJe7hQnrgkg/edit


 




January 5, 2021

Focus Group Registrations Are Open

The Town of Andover is now opening registration for the second step of the Town’s Diversity Audit: Community Focus Groups. 

 

Scheduled to take place during the month of January, this series of virtual conversations will be facilitated by VISIONS, Inc., Andover’s consulting partner in this important work. These focus groups will provide an opportunity for those that wish to speak to be heard. 

 

The process is designed to collect information about the racial climate in Andover, including strengths, challenges and desired outcomes as well as to provide a chance for participants to share their experiences, interpersonally, institutionally and culturally in and around these critical matters.

 

The focus groups will have a limited number of slots for the 50-minute sessions, so please register early if you’d like to participate!  

 

The focus groups will consist of several demographics salient to the Andover community. Please sign up as early as possible in order to be able to participate in a group. 

 

PLEASE SIGN UP FOR ONE GROUP ONLY.

 

We will send out confirmations to those registered for the groups.

 

If you have not had a chance to fill out the online survey yet, please do so here:

 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Andover_asst_2020

  

FOCUS GROUP LINKS

Please sign up for the group that you feel best represents you:

  

Chinese – January 26, 2021, 6:00 pm:

Chinese focus group - men

Chinese focus group - Women

 

Pan Asian – January 27, 2021, 6:00 pm:

Pan Asian focus group - Men

Pan Asian focus group - Women

 

Black – African American – January 26, 2021, 6:00 pm: 

Black - African American focus group - Men

Black - African American focus group - Women

 

Black – African Immigrant – January 25, 2021, 6pm: 

Black - African Immigrant focus group - Men

Black - African Immigrant focus group - Women

 

White – January 26, 2021, 6:00 pm:

White focus group - Men

White focus group - Women

 

Hispanic – January 28, 2021, 6:00 pm:

Hispanic focus group - Men

Hispanic focus group - Women

 

Youth – January 25, 2021, 5:00 pm:

Youth focus group -- Young men

Youth focus group -- Young Women

 

Phillips Academy employees January 27, 2021, 5:00 pm:

Phillips Academy faculty, staff -- People of Color

Phillips Academy faculty, staff -- White

 

Andover Clergy January 26, 2021, 4:00 pm: 

Clergy focus group

 

MVB+BV – January 19, 2021, 6:00 pm: 

Merrimack Valley Black & Brown Voices focus group

 

The Diversity Audit Survey remains open. If you’ve not yet had an opportunity to complete that survey please do so here: 

                             https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Andover_asst_2020

We thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts and experiences with us. We encourage you to forward the link on to your social networks.


January 4, 2021

Town of Andover Seeks Members for Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


The Town of Andover is seeking Andover community members interested in serving on the newly created Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

 

The charge and structure of the Commission is as follows:

 

Andover’s Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will work to combat the realities of racism and intolerance in Andover by supporting programs, initiatives, education, outreach, policies, and institutional change which contribute to an inclusive Andover; a community which embraces tolerance, inclusiveness and respect for all.     

 

Andover’s Commission on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion will consist of 13 appointed members, each appointed by the Town Manager for three (3) year terms. 

 

Appointments to the commission will be made with an eye to diversity to ensure historically marginalized communities have a seat at the table. 

 

The Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will consist, at a minimum, of the following representatives:

 

5 individuals who live and/or work in Andover

3 Clergy representatives

2 Youth representatives

1 Andover High School staff representative

1 Philips Academy representative

1 Andover Police Department representative

1 Andover Select Board member liaison

1 Andover School Committee member liaison

 

If you are interested in serving, complete a Talent Bank Form by visiting www.andoverma.gov/volunteer.

 

For any questions about the Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, please contact Jemma Lambert, Director of Community Services at Jemma.Lambert@andoverma.us or by phone at (978) 623-8312.

 


End of 2020 Update

Andover Diversity Audit: Update 

The Town of Andover is committed to creating a community which embraces inclusiveness and respect for all. By hearing from and listening to the experiences of those who live and/or work in Andover we will, together, create a path forward. 

Focus Groups

The Town of Andover will soon open registration for the second step of the Town’s Diversity Audit: Community Focus Groups.

Scheduled to take place during the month of January, a series of virtual conversations will be facilitated by VISIONS, Inc., Andover’s consulting partner in this important work. These focus groups will provide an opportunity for those that wish to speak to be heard. 

The process is designed to collect information about the racial climate in Andover, including strengths, challenges and desired outcomes as well as to provide a chance for participants to share their experiences, interpersonally, institutionally and culturally in and around these critical matters.

The focus groups will have a limited number of slots for the 50-minute sessions, so please register early if you’d like to participate. 

Keep an eye out for the Focus Group registration link in the next week or so!

On-line Survey

The Diversity Audit Survey remains open. If you’ve not yet had an opportunity to complete that survey please do so here: 

                             https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Andover_asst_2020

We thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts and experiences with us. We encourage you to forward the link on to your social networks.

The survey is anonymous.

The survey can be accessed in English, Spanish or Mandarin. 

 



December 2018 Update

Courageous Conversations Upcoming Event:

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You: A Virtual Conversation with Local Educators & Students

 Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - 7:00pm

Register through Zoom.

About the book: Reynolds (Look Both Ways) lends his signature flair to remixing Kendi’s award-winning Stamped from the Beginning into a powerful “not a history book” primer on the historical roots and present-day manifestations of antiblack racism in America. In five sections, Reynolds’s conversational text discusses the influential figures, movements, and events that have propagated racist ideas, beginning in 1415 with the publication of the infamous work that laid the groundwork for subsequent religious justifications of enslaving African peoples and continuing through the “war on drugs” and #BlackLivesMatter. Employing a format that hews closely to Kendi’s original, Reynolds discusses and differentiates between segregationist (“a hater”), assimilationist (“a coward”), and antiracist (“someone who truly loves”) rhetoric via figures such as Angela Davis, W.E.B. DuBois, Thomas Jefferson, and Cotton Mather. Short chapters, lively phrasing (“You know what hits do—they spread”), and intentional breaks (“Time Out,” “Let’s all just take a deep breath”) help maintain a brisk, compelling pace. Told impressively economically, loaded with historical details that connect clearly to current experiences, and bolstered with suggested reading and listening selected specifically for young readers, Kendi and Reynolds’s volume is essential, meaningfully accessible reading. ---Publishers Weekly

Hosted by Courageous Conversations and Memorial Hall Library. The Winter/Spring series is focused on mass incarceration and the justice system, particularly the impacts on Black and Latinx communities.

Courageous Conversations Series


December 8, 2020

The Survey is Open!

The Town of Andover is committed to creating a community which embraces inclusiveness and respect for all. 

Our survey; the first step in understanding your experiences related to diversity, equity and inclusion in the Town of Andover is ready. 

We thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts and experiences with us. We encourage you to forward the link on to your social networks.

The survey is anonymous.

The survey can be accessed in English, Spanish or Mandarin. Click he link below to begin!

 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Andover_asst_2020


Update on Andover's Diversity Assessment and Survey

The Town of Andover is committed to creating a community which embraces inclusiveness and respect for all. 

As a way to ascertain that this commitment is honored, the first step is to assess where we currently stand.  To that end the Town has engaged the services of a consulting firm, VISIONS, Inc., to facilitate and guide an organizational-wide assessment process known as a diversity audit.  

This audit consists of two distinct information gathering avenues: an anonymous survey and a series of face-to-face focus groups with stakeholders. 

By hearing from and listening to the experiences of those who live and/or work in Andover we will, together, understand what needs to be done to make sure our community embraces inclusiveness and respect for all.  

The Town of Andover’s Diversity Survey will be ready for release in the coming days and will be sent out through the town's social media platforms. Please keep an eye out for that link. 

We thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts and experiences with us. We encourage you to forward that link on to your social networks. We want to hear from all who live and/or work in Andover.  

Your voice matters.

We look forward to your participation in this project.  Please look for the link to the anonymous survey in the coming days. 

Thank you in advance for your help and participation.

Please visit www.andoverma.gov/diverse for the latest information. 





Diversity in Recreation Programming

Working Group

 

The Town of Andover's Community Services Department is looking for community volunteers to help us look at our array of Recreation programming with an eye to equity, diversity and inclusion. 


Our hope is to make positive change in the Recreation's classes, celebrations and special events to better reflect our community’s interests, values and cultural practices. 

 

If you have an interest in working collaboratively with others by contributing ideas or suggestions, please reach out to Jemma Lambert, Director of Community Services at:


jemma.lambert @andoverma.us 


October 28,2020

Message from the Town Manager (provided to the Select Board on October 22, 2020):

On October 21st, the Town learned that a symbol of hate was placed in the front yard of a home in Andover.  Symbols and acts of hate have no place in Andover and in every case, they will be actively and thoroughly investigated by the Andover Police Department.  

Andover is not immune to such acts and symbols of hate, and we must work collaboratively to reject such expressions and embrace our shared values: tolerance, inclusiveness, and respect of diversity in all its forms.  The symbol discovered yesterday is not reflective of the community, its strong commitment to combat the realities of racism and its ongoing efforts to build a more inclusive Andover.   While these acts are both destructive and hurtful, we cannot let them impede the progress we are making together.   

On September 28th, the Select Board and Town Manager adopted a goal for 2020-2021 that focuses expressly on advancing the community’s work around diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Here is a summary of the goal:

Advance community discussions around diversity, equity and inclusion and develop roadmap for next steps:

  • Work with Visions, Inc. to complete a community assessment by facilitating focus groups with residents, communities of faith, communities of color and public and private school leaders and other stakeholders 
  • Complete community survey which, in conjunction with the outcomes of focus groups, will define the Town’s roadmap for next steps that are responsive to community priorities and create educational opportunities for residents and businesses on anti-racism and implicit bias. Work with Human Resources to identify and implement training opportunities for Town and school employees that focus on implicit bias, equity and anti-racism, and establish and appoint a permanent resident and staff joint committee to work on developing a charge for Andover DIVERSE.  The Committee shall also support the work of Andover DIVERSE  
  • Identify and fund a dedicated resource(s) focused on advancing the Town’s work around diversity, equity and inclusion goals. Evaluate opportunities that may include regional partnerships, shared services or other assignments of responsibilities as part of the effort to establish this resource(s) 


Work towards this goal is well underway. We are fortunate to benefit from the talents and commitment of several leaders in the community who stepped forward as we advance these efforts. They leaders are:  

  • Michael Eatman, Director of Community Life, The Pike School
  • Dana Allen Walsh, Senior Pastor, South Church
  • Jorge Allen, World Language Program Head, Andover Public Schools
  • Elizabeth Walther-Grant, Co-Founder, Merrimack Valley Black and Brown Voices
  • Nicki Wiggins, Board Member, A Better Chance
  • Mary Pritchard, founder, Courageous Conversations
  • Rick Pinderhughes, Consultant, VISIONS
  • Jemma Lambert, Director of Community Services, Town of Andover

Together, this group will finalize a survey instrument and design our approach to focus group conversations with residents and businesses.  That work is underway and will continue through the month of October. 

We intend to launch the community-wide survey by the end of October and to schedule and begin conducting focus groups shortly thereafter. Once these activities are completed, Project Consultant Rick Pinderhughes will provide the Town with a set of recommended action steps that align with the community’s shared priorities. 

The Select Board and Town Manager will continue to provide regular updates on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative. The next update is scheduled for the November 2nd Select Board Meeting. 

The Select Board and Town Manager thank you in advance for your participation.  

Andrew Flanagan

October 27, 2020

Diversity in Recreation Programming

Working Group

 

The Recreation Division is looking for community volunteers to help us look at our array of programming with an eye to equity, diversity and inclusion. 


Our hope is to make positive change in our classes, celebrations and special events to better reflect our community’s interests, values and cultural practices. 

 

If you have an interest in working collaboratively with others by contributing ideas or suggestions, please reach out to Jemma Lambert, Director of Community Services at:


jemma.lambert @andoverma.us 


September, 2020

The Town of Andover would like to thank all that participated in Andover’s community conversation on matters of race/racism, equity, diversity and inclusion. Some 125 individuals came together for a virtual meeting to talk about making positive change here in Andover.

That work will begin with the completion of a community-wide survey and a series of focus group conversations to better understand our shared values and priorities here in Andover. The voices of our community will shape the direction of the work to come in both the short and long-term. 

Project Consultant Rick Pinderhughes and the town's Director of Community Services Jemma Lambert will be working together with community members to complete these important first steps. Here’s what to expect in the coming weeks: 

  • Identification of a small, ad-hoc working group comprised of community leaders, project consultant Rick Pinderhughes and Jemma Lambert  to complete the survey design, articulate a project timeline and a road map for our focus groups. It is our intention to identify community volunteers for this work in the next few weeks and to hold our first meeting in October. 
  • We intend to roll the survey out to the community in October, followed by the launch of a series of focus groups with a wide range of community interest groups and individuals.
  • Regular status updates related to the progress of this work will be posted on the Town’s website, provided to Andover’s Select Board, and shared via social media.   


 

Early October, 2020

Work continues toward making positive change on matters of race/racism, equity, diversity and inclusion here in Andover.

 

We’re exceedingly fortunate to be benefitting from the talents and commitment of several leaders in the Andover community who stepped forward to volunteer their time on our short-term working group. They are:   

Michael Eatman, Director of Community Life, The Pike School

Dana Allen Walsh, Senior Pastor, South Church

Jorge Allen, World Language Program Head, Andover Public Schools

Elizabeth Walther-Grant, Co-Founder, Merrimac Valley Black and Brown Voices

Nicki Wiggins, Board Member, A Better Chance

Mary Pritchard, founder, Courageous Conversations

 

Andover municipal team: 

Rick Pinderhughes, Consultant, VISIONS

Jemma Lambert, Director of Community Services, Town of Andover

 

Together this group will finalize the survey instrument and design our approach to focus group conversations with all of you. That work is underway and will continue through the month of October. 

 

It is our hope and intent to launch the community-wide survey in October and to schedule and begin conducting focus groups shortly thereafter.

 

Once these activities are completed Project Consultant Rick Pinderhughes will provide the Town with a set of recommended activities you, our community, tell us are your shared priorities. 

 

Please share this update with your circle of connections. 

 

We look forward to sending out a link to the survey in the coming weeks.

Meet the Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

 At Large Members:

Wael Kamal (2)

Dr. Wael Kamal is the Assistant Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at UMass Lowell. For the past 20 years, he has been an advocate of diversity, equity and inclusion in multiple capacities including establishing an on-campus organization at Georgia State University (Atlanta GA) to address the cultural implications of the aftermath of 911 and serving on the Global Engagement and Inclusive Culture Committee at UMass Lowell. Dr. Kamal is a firm believer in inclusivity for all human beings.


Bas Desenal (2)

Basenal Dessin was born and raised in Haiti along with his 5 siblings. He moved to the United States in May 2000 and has lived in Andover, MA for over 5 years.. He is married to Marie for almost 19 years and they are proud parents of Chris (15), Carissa (13), Corban (4) and Cainan 4 months old. Basenal currently works for Sarepta as a Senior Quality Assurance leader and has been in the Biotech field for over 15 years. Basenal is also an Ordained Minister and a Chaplain and goes out of his way to help people in need. 


kavita goyal (2)Kavita Goyal, Co-Chair has been a resident of Andover since 2012, and has worked in Andover for the past 10 years.  She is a small business owner with a law firm practice in the Ballardvale Mill building.  At the firm, she leads the employment practice, representing small-to-mid sized businesses, as well as individuals, in civil litigation, advice and counseling. She focuses on anti-discrimination and equal employment practices, and spends a portion of her time counseling medical and dental entities with their ongoing business needs.  Kavita has two daughters and loves to spend time with them skiing, dancing and walking on the beach!  Kavita serves as an At-Large Member of the Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.


sandis wright and family (2)Sandis Wright (He, Him, His) has held various leadership and volunteer positions throughout his career. In his current role as Director, Information Management, for the Federal Employee Program with Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), he focuses on data strategy and data governance. He’s held numerous volunteer roles in both corporate settings and in local communities and is currently a member of the BCBSA diversity council and co-chairs the PRIDE (LGBTQ) Associate Resource Group.  He’s also on the board of a Better Chance of Andover, the Bancroft Parent Teacher Organization and Doherty Parent Advisory Council.  These volunteer roles include organizing programs and events while creating an inclusive community and culture. Sandis has resided in Andover since 2011. He is married to his husband of 29 years and has 2 daughters, age 9 and 11.



 

Shishan Wang, Clerk is a senior research scientist in Microbiology and Biochemistry. He has been living in Andover with his family since 2007. Before moving to Andover, Shishan earned both BS and MS in Microbiology from China and Ph.D in Food Science at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Shishan serves as a member of Andover High School Improvement Council. He also is volunteering for several organizations.


Lisa Cascio

Lisa Cascio (She, Her) joined Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) in October 2013 as its Public Relations Manager and currently serves as Director of Partner Engagement. Lisa also serves as NEEP’s co-lead for all diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice work.

 

Lisa has a B.A. in English from The College of the Holy Cross and an M.A. in Administrative Studies from Boston College. She recently received a certificate in nonprofit management and leadership from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice and Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University.


Student Representatives:


Peyton (2)

Peyton Levental,17, is a Junior at Andover Highschool. Peyton enjoys serving her community and problem solving. She is the President of her Church’s Youth Group  and runs track and plays soccer. She says listening is one of her best assets and one she hopes can help the community. “It’s tough to find a short term solution to racial inequality but when we all listen to each other and everyone's ideas while understanding what is driving the issues, then that's where I believe we can start to make positive changes to our community and improve things in the short term while solving the overall issues over time.”


Olivia Lu-Alba (2)

Olivia Lu-Alba (She/Her), AHS class of 2022, is an honor roll student participating in AVID. Her dedication to community service is unwavering. She is the current President of Amigos Unidos, a cultural awareness and community service club. Olivia is proud of her Afro-Latina, Asian heritage and fully embraces her Dominican and Vietnamese cultures. Being race-conscious enables her to intimately advocate for social justice and equality.


Clergy Representatives:


Dana Allen Walsh

Reverend Dana Allen Walsh is a pastor, teacher and ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She is the first female Senior Pastor of South Church in Andover in their 300 year history. Prior to her call to South Church in 2014, Dana served for eight years as Minister of Hancock United Church of Christ on the historic battle green of Lexington.  She holds a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from the University of Mary Washington. She’s currently enrolled in a Executive Leadership  program with Princeton Theological Seminary. Dana resides in Andover along with her husband, Sean and two children: Leighton & Emerson. 


Rabbi Howard Mandell (2)

Rabbi Howard Mandell (He, Him, His) currently serves as the Rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Andover and as an adjunct professor at Merrimack College where he teaches courses on Social Justice. Prior to my becoming an ordained Rabbi, Howard spent most of his adult life in Montgomery, AL, where he practiced civil rights and constitutional law for several decades before becoming City Attorney for the City of Montgomery. Howard served as chair of the board of The Southern Poverty Law Center and currently serve on the board of directors of Lazarus House Ministries in Lawrence, MA.


APS Representative:

jorge allen (2)

Jorge Allen is the PreK-12 Coordinator for English Learner Education & World Language Programs at Andover Public Schools (APS). Jorge co-created Andover's District Global Pathways program and the district-wide Cultural Climate Committee. 

He has taught Spanish classes and was the Advisor to Black and Latino students at Phillips Academy Andover. Jorge is the Past President and 2017 Conference Chair of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association and served as the Presidential appointee for the Urban District Engagement for a member of the Task Force on Racial Justice for the Massachusetts Association of Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages. Jorge has served in numerous other leadership positions on the state and national level.  


Phillips Academy Representative:

Monica Reum (2)

Monica Reum, M.Ed., Co-Chair is the Recruitment and Admission Programs Specialist at the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers, a national nonprofit that promotes racial equity in the educational sector. Monica has served in a variety of academic positions in college access, coordination, program development, outreach, advising, recruitment, and admissions specifically for students of color. Monica’s commitment to advancing, elevating, and supporting underrepresented students and disrupting racist systems is what led her to join the Town of Andover's Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and contribute to building an anti-racist community. Monica is a current employee at Phillips Academy, a current PhD student at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and has been an Andover resident for the past 3 years. Monica holds a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Leadership and Organizational Development from Merrimack College where she also teaches courses on social justice for their School of Liberal Arts


Andover Police Department Representative:

Sgt Frank Fitzpatrick (2)

 

Lieutenant Frank Fitzpatrick began his law enforcement career in Andover in 2006 after graduating from the Boston Police Academy.  When asked why he chose to serve as the APD’s Liaison, Lt. Fitzpatrick said: “I chose to serve the Commission because this is a very important and meaningful topic… I chose to serve to help non-law enforcement better understand what we do and how we are trained. I believe this insight will help to assure our residents and those who work and travel through Andover that we are a professional police department with a focus on treating everyone with respect and dignity. Lieutenant Fitzpatrick holds a BA degree in Political Science from Merrimack College and a MS degree in Criminal Justice from Anna Maria College. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command and has completed the FBI LEEDA’s Leadership School Trilogy.


At-Large Alternate Members:

George Nugent (2)

George Nugent (He, Him, His) is Marketing Manager and Vice President at Enterprise Bank headquartered in Lowell, MA. George has an extensive professional background in fundraising, marketing and communications work. He has a longstanding commitment to nonprofit organizations in the Merrimack Valley. George has served on the boards of Jericho Road and the Nonprofit Alliance of Greater Lowell is currently a board member for the Center for Hope and Healing and a trustee for the Towle Fund for the Town of Andover. George is an advocate for LGBTQ and equity initiatives, is involved with diversity and inclusion efforts and a member of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Consortium - Lowell. 


Rajiv Chopra (2)

Rajiv Chopra has lived in Andover since 2002 with his wife and two sons, who both thrived in the APS system. Raj is a scientist focused on the discovery and design of new molecular therapies and has worked for major Pharmaceutical companies on numerous drug discovery projects before establishing his own consulting company. He  enjoys growing vegetables and sports, especially soccer, and is passionate about celebrating diversity in all its forms.


Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Andover’s Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will work to combat the realities of racism and intolerance in Andover by supporting programs, initiatives, education, outreach, policies, and institutional change which contribute to an inclusive Andover; a community which embraces tolerance, inclusiveness and respect for all.  

Andover’s Select Board unanimously approved the creation of a permanent Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion whose charge is to combat the realities of racism and intolerance in Andover by supporting programs, initiatives, education, outreach policies and institutional change which contribute to an inclusive Andover; a community which embraces tolerance, inclusiveness and respect for all.    

The following individuals were appointed by the Select Board in March, 2021 to serve on the Commision on DEI:

Members At Large

Wael Kamal

Basenal Dessin

Kavita Goyal

Sandis Wright

Shishan Wang

Lisa Cascio

 

Student Representatives

Jack Glavin

Peyton Levental

Olivia Lu-Alba

 

Clergy Representatives

Rev. Dana Allen Walsh

Rabbi Howard Mandell

 

APS Representative

Jorge Allen

 

Phillips Academy Representative

Monica Reum

 

APD Representative

Lt. Frank Fitzpatrick

 

At Large Alternative Members

George Nugent

Rajiv Chopra

 

Select Board Representative

Laura Gregory

 

School Committee Representative

TBD

 

Staff Liaison

Jemma Lambert, Director, Community Services 

 

Meetings of the Commission will be held virtually until such time in-person meetings are permitted. All meetings of the Commission will be re-broadcast on AndoverTV.