Chestertown Equity Advisory Committee
Chestertown Unites Against Racism
Feb 09 2021 Minutes
Present- Chris Cerino, John Queen, Tom Hayman, Vic Sensenig, Ruth Shoge, Kate Livie, Bishop Ronald Fisher, Reverend Robert Brown, Jenn Baker
Absent- Latoya Johnson and Brandy Barrett
Executive Action: Approval of minutes January, 2021
John Queen reminded the public that the best way to connect with the committee is through the firstname.lastname@example.org and chestertownunites.com
Chairman Queen then talked about how the public includes the EAC logo in their flyers or publication, and underscored.
Kate Livie then followed up on the agenda and public comment and discussed how the public or organization should work with the group. Livie explained that the public needs to email us with the plan deliverable they want to work on and briefly explain how they wish to assist, and then they can be funneled to the appropriate committee members. Jenn Baker suggested that additional inquiry fields be added to the email that lets interested parties choose what different initiatives in the plan they want to support, and how they could support it. Queen and Shoge agreed.
● Queen shared that the Chestertown Unites Website and Youtube channel launched January 2021 for MLK Day. All future materials will be archived there.
● Queen then reported on the Community Dialogue Part #1 w/Black Union of Kent County and WAC SGA
● Queen also reported on the launch of the first video for the education pillar, Black Churches Part #1 released February 1st, 2021
● Queen then went on to announce that the Chestertown Unites Banners ($50) and Yard Signs ($20) will be available with a donation. The donations from these promotional materials will be used to underwrite the initiatives to EAC. Baker suggested that a table at the farmer’s market or could be put outside of Chestertown Wine and Cheese to help build awareness and sell the banners and yard signs. Queen liked the idea but suggested that it be tabled for the moment. BAYSIDE Hoyas have donated the yard signs.
Washington College SGA Community Dialogue (education pillar)
Washington College SGA w/Maegan White joined the meeting to discuss the Community Dialogue hosted by WAC on equity, discussing the local issues like the experience of students of color in Chestertown and the Capitol insurrection more broadly. This was so successful the SGA would like to host more of these.
Vic, Councilman Tolliver and Queen all attended the dialogue. Sensinig said that the opportunity to connect between the students and the town was very positive, and gave the students an opportunity to make meaningful connections. Tolliver said having the open dialogue and the chance to hear their concerns was very positive. Queen agreed, saying that the honesty and openness was refreshing.
Maegan said that further collaboration was possible, especially along the discussion of gentrification, and the group would be interested in helping to create a survey on gentrification. She also said that the partnership was positive and had room to grow. Shoge (a former WAC staffer) said she also endorsed this relationship and was happy to hear these efforts underway.
Baker said that one of the elements to consider for any outreach on gentrification with local stores would be to assist in an email or contact list, so that students could coordinate with shop owners about the best (slowest) times to stop in.
Washington College w/Stacy Emerald (Education Pillar w/ Diversity and Cultural trainings)
Sensinig introduced Prof. Emerald, and explained how they came to the decision that WAC’s JEDI training would be a good fit for the EAC and the Town of Chestertown.
Prof. Emerald discussed the training and their focus, currently and in the future. Each of the sessions are designed to be in one hour, and are capped to 18 for small-group conversation, and facilitated by 2-4 facilitated. Prof. Emerald suggested that the anti racism training would be the best fit, and discussed some of the case studies explored through that training module.
Queen then followed up to ensure that the trainings are offered via Zoom. Bishop Fisher then asked about times/ dates for the trainings, which Prof. Emerald will share with the group. Baker then asked if any of the scenarios could be modified to make them tailored to the Town specifically, and Prof. Emerald agreed that they could. Prof. Emerald then shared information about the trainings dates, times, and focus, as well as her contact information.
Queen followed up with the role of the committee in selecting these trainings and then suggesting them to the Town to participate in or to implement.
Plan Implementation: Education, Legislation and Unification
Queen then logged onto the chestertownunites.com website and explained that we’re currently in the education pillar specifically. Then we’ll move onto legislation, with unification to follow.
Gentrification Videos (Education Pillar w/Community Dialogue and Video Series)
Queen reported that the progress of the Gentrification Videos has started, with conversations beginning with WAC students as (Education Pillar w/Community Dialogue and Video Series)
Book Club w/Sherrilyn Ifill’s “On the Courthouse Lawn” (Education w/ James Taylor Remembrance Project)
40 books have been donated by Vic Pfeiffer to the book club.
Currently in planning, according to Queen.
Historic Video Selection upcoming:
Black Churches Part #2 (Education Pillar w/Video Series)
This part of the initiative is currently underway, as reported by Chairman Queen, with editing started on the first.
Community Dialogue Part #1 (Education Pillar w/ Community Dialogue)
Queen reported that the footage from Washington College is this is currently being editied for release in the next few weeks.
Black Union of Kent County w/Juneteenth (Unification)
Queen reported that this is an opportunity to attract new audiences, and there is a lot of public interest in participation. A Black Union member will report next month.
Historic Signage (Education Pillar)
Queen reported that he has identified a funded opportunity for partnership that is in development.
African American Stories (Education w/Video Series)
Several researchers in the community have connected with the EAC to assist with storytelling and researchers locally. Shoge asked if the EAC is working with the Heartland project at the College, and Queen replied that the EAC is working with them (and that the town is more broadly), as well as Sumner Hall.
Public Comment: Agenda
No public members were in attendance to comment.
Bishop Fisher then commented prior to the close of the meeting that he would like some copies of the book club book, and Queen reported that several organizations will be assisting with distribution. Queen went on to talk broadly about the club and the goal of having the community read the book.
John Queen moved to close the meeting at 8:10 PM.
Next meeting Tuesday, March 9th 2021, at 7 PM.