To the Editor:
The Black Lives Matter organization of Martha’s Vineyard (BLM MV) offers the following comments on the plan issued by the Chilmark Town Affairs Council (CTAC) related to proposed changes to both the governance and operational policies of the Chilmark Community Center’s summer camp.
First, we wish to acknowledge the earnest statements of commitment to the principles of equity, fairness, and justice and to the measures required to uphold them.
Second, we commend the frankness with which CTAC has recognized the shortfalls in infrastructure, training, policies, and practices, and how it has openly enumerated them.
Third, we recognize the pressures under which CTAC produced such a thoughtful and comprehensive plan in such a short time, while still dealing with the important matters associated with the summer camp incident. In view of these pressures to produce a plan, we realize that CTAC’s already strong plan requires further, more detailed elaboration in order to become fully actionable. On the other hand, we are most pleased to see that CTAC has not awaited issuance of their plan to take important actions, including but not limited to diversifying their board with four new members; creating a values statement and written commitment to DEI practices to serve as a foundation for all aspects of the camp, its campers, camp personnel, and board; preparing a job description essential to initiating a search for a new executive director.
Fourth, MV BLM offers our continuing support in any manner for which we may have expertise and which our ongoing dialogue will further disclose.
Finally, we offer a perspective that while noteworthy progress has already been made under the most challenging of circumstances, ultimate success will require openness, consultation, and careful thought and deliberation. No successful plan is finalized either quickly or without the ability of the planners to operate in an atmosphere in which they can consult, deliberate, and make prudent revisions or changes to the plan to make it actionable. To achieve this, both CTAC, all interested parties, and the community at large must work mutually and continuously to build and maintain the trust needed to permit CTAC to fulfill the important promises of its plan.
MV BLM committee