Letter: Let’s talk about race

Published: 8/8/2018 12:00:52 AM

On July 27, the New York Times published an article titled “New Hampshire, 94 Percent White, Asks: ‘How Do You Diversify a Whole State?’ ” Representatives from across the governmental and economic spectrum were present at a gathering where the focus was how New Hampshire can become more welcoming place for a more diverse workforce. As a result, there has been a fair amount of criticism of the effort, some of which was published in a Union Leader editorial the following day.

There is a benefit to the backlash in response to the recent diversity effort. It is showing the bigotry and racism that thrives in New Hampshire and New England at large. Our state is not welcoming to black, indigenous, people of color. We need to create a climate of safety and welcoming if we are to grow economically and socially. To ignore this is a missed opportunity.

Our group, Concord N.H. Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ), is actively working against our own implicit bias, bigotry and complicity in our racist system. We would like to call other white people to the table. This is a great opportunity for us to have serious conversations about race where the people we are speaking with will listen, and to be more introspective and gain an understanding of the effect we have on the people we live with, love and work with. We seek a state that is just for all people. We believe that such a situation is possible, but only when we are willing to have uncomfortable conversations.



(The letter was co-signed by Tina Poirier, Jessica Livingston, Annette Watson, Laura Edmondson and Aimee Valeras, all of Concord, Aron DiBacco of Deerfield and Brian Stisser of Merrimack.)

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