Affirmative Action Update

Affirmative Action Committee co-chairwomen Patricia Oshman and Joanne Triestman provided an update on committee activities at the Monday, June 3, board of selectmen meeting.

Describing the affirmative action committee as a “committee in change,” co-chairwoman Joanne Triestman said the group aims to celebrate diversity and foster civic engagement in Falmouth.

“We can all work together in this community to make it a better community, to make it a fairer community, to make it a community where everybody talks to each other,” Ms. Triestman said at the Monday, June 3, meeting of the board of selectmen.

She provided selectmen with a report on the committee’s recent activities and upcoming plans. The committee has hosted a screening of “The Color of Fear,” hosted the Cape Organization for Rights of the Disabled at the library and created a “Road to Racial Justice” board game.

“It is a game that teens can play that looks at the planet Terra, who needs our help to get rid of superioritis, and gives them situations where they can then decide what they would do,” Ms. Triestman said.

Co-chairwoman Patricia Oshman compared the game to What Would You Do?, a hidden camera series on ABC that focuses on how bystanders react when confronted with an ethical scenarios.

The game was provided to the Lawrence School, local Girl Scouts troops and area churches.

Ms. Triestman said the committee hopes to get more involved with the schools, noting the Lawrence School, Falmouth High School and Falmouth Academy all have human rights or social justice clubs.

“One of the things we’ve proposed in our purposes is to include a high school junior on our committee, so that they could come in and serve another year before they go off to college,” she said. “It would look good on their application, and we’re a very easy group to work with.”

Selectman Douglas C. Brown said that when he thinks of affirmative action, he thinks of employment. He asked if that still played a big role.

Ms. Triestman said this demonstrates how affirmative action has changed. While it still involves employment, it has expanded to include civil rights and social justice. The affirmative action committee’s goal is to bring those discussions out into the community.

Board chairwoman Megan E. English Braga praised the committee for its efforts.

“It has really gone from not even having a quorum to being fully fleshed out, having guests come and visit on a regular basis to contribute,” Ms. English Braga said. “It just has a much better energy and, I think, some movement.”

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