We acknowledge we are writing from land of the Wabanaki people.

In the aftermath of two racial incidents in our town, people have asked, “Is there racism in Yarmouth?” Members of the Black Student Alliance at Yarmouth High School have expressed dismay that little has been said and done to address these incidents.

We believe that it is impossible for racism not to exist in Yarmouth because racism and the trauma from racism exist within all of us.

If we don’t accept or believe that racism exists in our town, in us, then our response to racist actions would be different than if we do accept and know that racism is woven into our community in myriad ways. The response would be more like attending to “a few bad apples” rather than working toward change within systems and us.

Together with Carla Hunt, Dale Shields and Jane Gallagher, I coordinate the Yarmouth Community Alliance for Racial Equity. We invite our community to join us on our journey to face blatant, subtle and implicit racism with a mindset of curiosity and accountability, to build the capacity to respond to racism in all of its forms. This work involves discomfort and struggle. We are likely to make mistakes. We intend to learn from them and do better. We hope the process will lead to connectedness and repair.

Mary Lou Michael
Yarmouth

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