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Letter: Woodbridge Has an Opportunity to Lead

We believe that Woodbridge has an opportunity to lead.  Following the horrifying terrorist attack on a neighborhood supermarket in Buffalo, NY, we in Woodbridge and across the country have been reminded of the tragic costs of unchallenged fear and hatred.

As members of the Town of Woodbridge Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, we believe that our Town can and should stand together to challenge any forces that would seek to gain advantage by harassing, attacking, or otherwise demeaning members of our proudly diverse community.

A sensible place to begin would be by supporting the DEI coordinator position requested by Amity High School.  You may not be aware, but in recent years our award-winning high school–one of the keystone institutions of our community–has been the site of antisemitic and racist incidents that have hurt students and their families and reflected poorly on the values of respect and fellowship that guide our Town.

Having a staff member dedicated to supporting Amity students, teachers, and leadership in countering discrimination and cruelty with knowledge and guidance will be an important step in ensuring that our school represents a place of learning and connection.  This position will also help to move us closer to being a Town where our children, family, friends, and neighbors–regardless of where we were born, our ethnic heritage, how we worship, who we love, or how our bodies work–can take comfort in knowing that we are safe and respected in our community.

Another way you can help is by responding to the Experiencing Woodbridge Survey, which is accessible from the Town of Woodbridge website or via this link:  https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/zhB3NB.  We as a Committee worked together to create this tool as a means of understanding how well our town is living up to its ideals and where together we can do better.

Natural beauty, excellent schools, and an undeniable community spirit have made Woodbridge a special place for many of us.  Valuing and celebrating the diversity and contributions of our residents, employees, and visitors will make Woodbridge a special place for all of us.

Sincerely,

Town of Woodbridge Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Lor Ferrante Fernandes, David Franklin, Steven Lawrence, Tahera Parvez, Mohini Ranganathan, Robert Reed, Ellen Scalettar, and Ke Xu

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