Members of the Tufts Action Group, a collective of faculty, staff and students committed to grassroots anti-racism efforts within the university, met in April to discuss and respond to the five recently published anti-racism workstream reports. TAG’s response acknowledged the progress made by the “Tufts as an Anti-Racist Institution” effort and called for increased transparency, accountability and community presence in its implementation.
The agreement came after more than five years of negotiations between the city and the Somerville Police Employees Association, one of two police unions in the city. While the Somerville Police Superior Officers Association stated publicly that they would be willing to accept body cameras, it was important to reach the agreement with the Somerville Police Employees Association because it represents patrol officers who make up a larger percentage of the police force and spend more time on the streets, Niedergang said.
“The Department of Public Safety should develop a comprehensive digital strategy that utilizes social media and the department website to increase visibility, better engage the university community, proactively share information to build trust, and promote the department’s mission and values,” the report says.
The conference’s theme was “I am because we are,” and consisted of a series of panels, workshops and sessions over two days on topics ranging from networking and career advice to personal development and community building. Rev. Naomi Tutu, the daughter of human rights advocate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, gave the closing keynote address.
Abrams also discussed her route to politics. Growing up in a family committed to social justice, she often missed the Saturday morning cartoons when accompanying her parents to protest, vote and volunteer at local soup kitchens, homeless shelters and juvenile justice facilities. Abrams said she was influenced by lessons her parents taught her.
The event featured keynote speaker Abi Williams, professor of the practice of international politics at The Fletcher School and director of the Institute for Global Leadership, and a speech from Tufts student René LaPointe Jameson. The event is part of a larger conversation about anti-racism at Tufts.
While TUPD did not mandate that everyone be vaccinated, Coletta said approximately 75% of those eligible have received or plan to receive the vaccine.
The program, which over 200 people attended, consisted of presentations from multiple community members about the impact of COVID-19 on anti-Asian racism.
The meal program aimed to support local businesses while ensuring that students would not have to worry about accessing or paying for food.