| Program: || Belmont Against Racism, Belmont, MA |
| Contact(s): || Douglas C. Reynolds, President: (617) 489-2353 |
| Purpose: || To end racism in Belmont though celebration of diversity, increased integration and greater community participation |
Created in May 1992 after rioting scarred Los Angeles, Belmont Against Racism (BAR) is a community-action, all-volunteer organization addressing racism by following the slogan, "Think globally, act locally." BAR focuses on ending racism in Belmont by fostering awareness of racism and educating the community about eliminating it and ending exclusionary practices. Creating a welcoming community and increasing diversity throughout the town, BAR has emphasized the need to end the most difficult, intractable and frightening instances of racism.
Working toward the eradication of racism, BAR has held monthly meetings for six years, sending out monthly mailings to over 200 people. These meetings are devoted to the discussion and examination of racism and prejudice, anti-bias training for members of the group and response to racial events occurring in the town. BAR also sponsors educational events, including: annual Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday services; a community breakfast; a four-day art exhibition featuring African American artists and works, plus story-telling, poetry, lectures and films focused on racial issues; and guest-speaker programs on education policy, hate crimes and race relations. BAR works through the schools by funding tuition for teachers attending anti-racism training and purchasing anti-racism curriculum for the schools.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
Belmont Against Racism has played a significant role in raising community awareness of racism and moving the dialogue about race toward center stage, increasing "new hires" of people of color in the local public schools and bringing diversity training to the local police department. BAR purchased anti-racist and anti-bias curriculum that was used by about 600 children in the public schools. Five hundred people attended BAR's arts program, and 200 attended the Martin Luther King breakfast. The program was also featured in a story by The Boston Globe.