Day of Learning

UPDATED Feb. 11: The Rainbow and Human Rights Commissions have teamed up to host "A Day of Learning," focused on "building welcoming communities," held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. It was free and open to the public and featured breakout sessions and refreshments. 

This event required registration >> Refreshments are to be provided. For more information, click here >>

This talk took place at Arlington High School, 869 Mass. Ave., and featured keynote speaker Sasha Chanoff, founder and CEO of the organization RefugePoint. According to its website, RefugePoint was created to help refugees worldwide find solutions and support, including employment, education and family reunification opportunities; through direct services, field building and policy change, Refugepoint strives toward safety for refugees. 

Per Rainbow Commission Co-Chair Molly Blaauw Gillis, this is a new event created by the commissions' desire to facilitate in-person and interactive dialogue on the issues locally. 

According to its website, the Rainbow Commission promotes full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ individuals and groups through affirming policies and programs, resources, advocacy and community building. The Human Rights Commission says that its mission is to strive to ensure the fair and equal treatment for all people who live, work and pass through the local community.

Many say that Massachusetts' number of migrants is reaching a critical point; as of October 2023, there were 7,319 such families in emergency shelter, according to Lt. General Scott Rice, the state's emergency assistance. Also in October, Governor Healey announced that Massachusetts "does not have enough shelter, space, service, providers, or funding to safely expand beyond 7,500 families." A waitlist was established in fall, and ,according to NBCBoston, there were more than 300 refugees awaiting shelter systems by the end of December. The organization Lawyers for Civil Rights is suing the state, claiming that the new waitlist system violates the state's right to shelter law.

According to the Boston Globe on Jan. 28, dozens of migrants have been temporarily living at Logan Airport and sleeping on the floor; they are expected to be housed at a recreation center in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston.

Nov. 22, 2023: Arlington again scores 100 in 2023 Municipal Equality Index, highest possible rating

This news announcement was published Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, based on information from the town's website, and updated Feb. 11.