Challenging Racism in the Tri-Town Area [TOWNSQUARE SUNDAY]
Rhoda Baptiste and other members of Tri-Town Against Racism are attacking some difficult issues in the towns of Mattapoisett, Marion and Rochester, and they're not backing down.
Baptiste joined Townsquare Sunday this week to discuss the TTAR agenda and its accomplishments so far.
"Tri-Town Against Racism started in early 2020 in response to some racist incidents that some kids had experienced in the Tri-Town area," Baptiste said. "It was just a group of moms who got together an realized we had shared experiences."
She said that as the group began sharing stories, the group realized the incidents had been going on for years and years.
One of the first commitments made by TTAR was to make sure the community had access to diverse books.
"My son, who is biracial, was a student at the time at Rochester Memorial School and could not find books in the library with characters that looked like him, and families that looked like ours," Baptiste said.
She then helped her son raise money to purchase diverse books and donate them to the school library.
Baptiste said TTAR's mission is to create an anti-racist community within the Tri-Town area, as well as support any group of marginalized people.
"That's really at the root of everything we're doing," she said.
Baptiste said TTAR pushed back on the recent effort to ban certain books in the Old Rochester School District, and has created "Little Free Diverse Libraries" in all three communities to make diverse books available to those who wish to read them.
Baptiste grew up in Mattapoisett, but she knows the experiences of her biracial son are much different than what she experienced growing up. She hopes the Little Free Diverse Libraries will help educate youngsters and the community in general that being different is okay.
TTAR is also has a couple of events coming up, including a July 1 event honoring abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and Community Conversations held quarterly. You can learn more by visiting TriTownAgainstRacism.org.
The complete interview with Rhonda Baptiste can be heard here:
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