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Who are we?
Tri-Town Against Racism (TTAR) was started as a grassroots organization in April 2020 in response to incidents of racism in our community. A small group came together to ask, "what can we do to change this?" We understood that racism is an enormous problem deeply rooted in our country, and making a difference felt impossible. We knew we couldn't change the country, but we realized it was possible to start where we live and create change in our community.
We started with a Facebook group, and membership multiplied. BIPOC members of the Tri-Town began sharing their personal experiences with racism. People had experienced racism in our schools and the community, and those dealing with it often felt alone and unsupported. There was power in sharing stories, a feeling that families did not have to fight these battles alone. And white community members listened to these stories, maybe realizing for the first time that our seemingly idyllic towns of Marion, Mattapoisett, and Rochester were not immune from racism and that change was needed.
Within weeks of starting our Facebook group, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmad Arbery were igniting protests, creating awareness, and a national reckoning with racism began. People began to join our Facebook group in droves, wanting to be part of creating an inclusive Tri-Town.
TTAR has been in constant motion since we formed. One of our first goals was to get diverse and anti-racist books into as many hands as possible. We established Little Free Diverse Libraries (LFDLs) in Marion and Mattapoisett (with plans for Rochester soon!) to ensure diverse books were available to community members of all ages. These LFDLs are very popular, and a team of volunteers works hard to keep them well-stocked. We have also helped our school libraries with donations of dozens of diverse books in every school library in the OR district. Thanks to the generosity of our TTAR community, hundreds of books have been donated.
We are proud of our partnership with our local schools.
TTAR participates in the OR district Equity Subcommittee.
TTAR was invited to speak to the Cultural Club at ORRHS to talk about making a local change and the importance of understanding implicit bias.
TTAR leadership gave the keynote address in 2022 for the National Honor Society Induction ceremony.
TTAR creates bulletin boards in the schools celebrating diversity, recognizing heritage months, and reminding students that everyone matters.
TTAR holds a very popular Black History Month Contest each year for students in grades 7-12. Students from Old Rochester Junior and Senior High, Tabor Academy, and Old Colony Vocational schools participate. All entries become part of a virtual art show, with some entries shown in person, all hosted by the Marion Art Center.
In celebration of Black History Month in 2022, we donated a copy of the award-winning picture book, The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, to every grade 3 - 6 classroom in the Tri-Town.
TTAR and Mattapoisett Museum joined forces to create The Diverse Family Portrait Project. This project highlighted and celebrated the beautiful diversity of many local families by taking and displaying family portraits at the Mattapoisett Museum. The opening night of this gallery attracted over 100 visitors, the largest exhibit opening in the history of the museum, including school leadership, and received very enthusiastic feedback.
The Marion Art Center partners with us to create an art exhibit showcasing art created by Tri-Town students for our Black History Month contest. We collaborated with the MAC in 2021 for the Mass Humanities-sponsored community read, "What to the Slave, is the 4th of July?" a speech by Frederick Douglass.
Thanks to the kindness of the members of the Friends Meeting House in Mattapoisett, TTAR has been able to host a Community Book Club to discuss diverse and anti-racist books each month and hold advisory board meetings in the community hall.
We support local youth by partnering with our local libraries and land trusts to provide Story Walks® and Trail Tails featuring diverse picture books.
We host quarterly Community Conversations with the public. Conversations have included discussions centered around who we are as an organization and our work in the community. Most recently, we hosted a panel of librarians to discuss the importance of representation in literature.
Upcoming discussions will focus on education, resources, available support, and topics identified by community members.
We hope you believe that the work we are doing matters.
Our greatest strength comes from the support and partnership of people like you. People who are passionate about creating a community where everyone feels they belong.
We hope you will support us with a financial gift so we can continue to live by our motto, "Start Where You Live!"