Race Amity Day Planned for June 10

Amy Mevorach
Issue Date: 
June, 2018
Article Body: 

The movement toward racial equity in Natick gathers momentum with a Race Amity Day celebration on the Natick Common, Sunday, June 10, beginning at noon. The occasion will commemorate the anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia case, a decision of the Supreme Court on June 12, 1967, which invalidated laws that prohibited interrracial marriage.
On March 23, 2017, Governor Charlie Baker delivered a proclamation that invited people “to join in introspection and reflection on the beauty and richness of the diverse peoples of this great nation while reaching out with a spirit of amity toward one another annually on the second Sunday in June.”
Deborah Davis, Carole Berkowitz and Jill MacGlaflin, organizers of Natick’s Race Amity Day, intend for the “spirit of amity” to be mutually extended every day of the year, not just the second Sunday in June. After inviting volunteers to read the proclamation, they will address the responsibility of the white community in dismantling racism. Following the introduction, there will be a picnic with games, activities for children, and free time to mingle, make friends, and connect. People are invited to bring their own picnic lunch.
“Our hopes for the picnic are that people of many different races and ethnicities will come together, enjoy each other’s company and recognize the commitment on the part of the many different organizations in town to ensure Natick is and continues to be a welcoming and inclusive town,” said Davis. Davis, Berkowitz and MacGlaflin, a trio of white women who have advocated for fair housing and helped to bring Metco to Natick, attended a Race Amity Day planning workshop on March 10 at Wheelock College. One spark of inspiration to move this issue forward locally was the public conversation about race at Natick High School between Debby Irving and Shay Stewart-Bouley, said Davis. “We believe that any opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate each other will have positive outcomes. We look forward to new friendships forming and reaching out to people of all races.”
 Many organizations have offered support and publicity for the event. Co-sponsoring groups include Common Street Spiritual Center, First Church Natick, Natick is United, Natick Coalition for Change, Natick Families of Color Unite, and the Natick Center Cultural District. Flyers were distributed at the Earth Day Festival and are available at the Community Senior Center and the Morse Institute Library. In case of rain, the event will move across the street to the Common Street Spiritual Center.
“Race Amity Day is just one part of how Natick is working to deconstruct systemic racism,” said Davis. “We will continue to work with many community groups in town to promote racial justice.” The purpose of events like Race Amity Day, Davis said, is to “create opportunities for cross-racial dialogue with the goal of achieving lasting change for racial equity. It is the white community who must put in the work and effort necessary to help society move towards increased racial justice.”