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Listening Sessions on the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

Dear Arlington friends and neighbors,

The Arlington Human Rights Commission (AHRC) will be holding multiple listening sessions over Zoom to hear from any community members who would like to supply ideas in response to the following two questions:

  1. As an impacted member of the community, how might other community members make you feel more welcome, safe and valued in Arlington?

  2. How might the AHRC itself take action to make you feel more welcome, safe and valued in Arlington?

The AHRC was founded in 1993 "to advance issues related to the fair and equal treatment of Town residents and to address complaints arising out of these issues." Prompted in part by community input and regional coordination of Human Rights Commissions, the AHRC would like to invite you to help explore how we can encourage common ties throughout the community.

The following sessions have been scheduled in an effort to provide a convenient time for as many people as possible:

  • Thursday, 4/4, at 3:00-5:00 PM in the afternoon

  • Friday, 4/5, at 7:00-9:00 PM in the evening

  • Saturday, 4/6, at 3:00-5:00 PM in the afternoon

  • Monday, 4/8, at 7:00-9:00 PM in the evening

In order to promote listening and understanding, there will be no dialogue, debate, or decisions made during these listening sessions. Multiple AHRC Commissioners will be listening and taking notes at each session, but the sessions will not be recorded. Commissioners will also be managing speakers and ensuring that the following community agreements are followed:

Community Agreements

  • We all have the responsibility to respect and build on the strength that diversity provides

  • Presume welcome and extend welcome

  • Speak your truth in ways that respect others’ truths

  • Unless you are a designated representative of an organization, opinions and thoughts are considered your own

  • Be considerate of time

  • No fixing, no saving, no advising, and no setting each other straight

  • Expect and accept a lack of closure

  • Use this moment and space to take some time to allow for reflection

These sessions will be held virtually on Zoom. Participants will remain muted until they are called on to speak. Participants should expect to have up to 2-4 minutes to speak, depending on the number of participants. Commissioners will manage time and remove individuals who do not follow the agreements out of respect for the space.

Please register for one of the sessions if you wish to attend. Speaking is optional.

Written responses submitted to the Commission by 12:00 PM on Tuesday, April 9th, will also be considered in the Commission's deliberation.

If you have any questions or concerns, or wish to submit a written response, please contact

Arlington values equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are committed to building a community where everyone is heard, respected, and protected.

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Phone: 781-316-3250

By Mail: 27 Maple Street

Arlington, MA 02476


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