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Human Rights Commission, Chelsea library, Serendipity Books to hold community read

By Lisa Carolin

During the Chelsea Human Rights Commission’s Aug. 5 meeting by telephone, member Joanne Ladio shared a statement she’d written for the HRC on the topic of racism and reaffirming the commission’s position.

Members of the HRC disagreed on whether the commission has the authority to issue a statement, calling it unchartered territory.

The HRC voted 3-2 (Rod Anderson, Eric Stricklin against) to take the statement as amended and submit it to Chelsea City Council to ask for approval to release the statement to the public.

In other action, HRC members unanimously supported a final review of specific city policy recommendations that will now go to Chelsea City Council. HRC members spent several months reviewing various city policies.

Ladio updated a collaborative program that the HRC will have with the Chelsea District Library and Serendipity Book store, which will involve a Community Reads book against racism. The book chosen is Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram Kendi. Community Reads will kick off Aug. 15 and the read dates are Sept. 1-30. Events include a reading on the library lawn Sept. 12 and a Zoom discussion Sept. 30.

The HRC voted 4-1 (Anderson against) to invite an ARCY (Anti-Racist Chelsea Youth) member to come to the next HRC meeting and talk to the HRC. The HRC’s next meeting will be on Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 6 p.m.

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6 thoughts on “Human Rights Commission, Chelsea library, Serendipity Books to hold community read”

  1. Why did I vote against inviting ARCY to the next HRC meeting? There were a number of reasons.

    First of all, it is not within the duties of the HRC to conduct this public discussion group without Council knowledge and approval. See Sec 33-8 of the Nondiscrimination Ordinance.

    Secondly, the ARCY manifesto was not made available to the Commission as a whole prior to the the meeting, making it impossible to judge the proposed content of the session.

    And lastly, when the the manifesto was eventually provided, it contained a number of objectionable demands, including a refusal to disavow continued violation of local laws: “ We reject the idea that we must allow authorities to control the way in which we organize for change….” – ARCY manifesto, first paragraph.

    • Unfortunately some people seek to ride the wave of social conflict in an attempt to capitalize on political capital.

      I believe you make the correct choice here Mr Anderson and I support it!

      Also, is there a link somewhere to the complete ARCY manifesto? I’d be very interested in reading it.

      Thanks, Keep up the great work!

  2. I respect Mr. Anderson’s choice to vote against inviting ARCY representatives to attend a future HRC meeting, however I would like to clarify two points:

    1. The ARCY document is a thoughtful statement of changes the group would like to see in three areas: education; community diversity; and policing. They have not called it a manifesto, nor would I characterize it as one.

    2. The proposal before the Commission was to extend an invitation to ARCY representatives as invited speakers, not to hold a public discussion group. The Commission has heard from several such speakers in the past, on topics such as restorative justice and the Washtenaw County Equity Office in an effort to inform ourselves about human rights initiatives in our area.

    As Commission members, we may agree or disagree with the positions put forward by these young members of our community, however, we do ourselves and the community a disservice if we turn a deaf ear to their experiences and ideas.

    • Where is this manifesto document posted?

      Where is the ARCY website explaining their beliefs and points of view?

      By the way a manifesto is a public declaration of policy and aims… so i guess if they refuse to make this document public… it’s more of a hidden agenda?

      If you invite people to speak at any public meeting that others can talk at it is a public discussion regardless of your intent.

      Please I beg you, stop empowering lawlessness and disobedience. Don’t enable the self entitled, it sets a horrible president.

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