Johnson Racial Justice & Social Equity Committee

The mission of the Johnson Racial Justice and Social Equity Committee is to encourage and support community diversity, and to disrupt and actively change the oppressive systems and policies that wrongly marginalize populations in our community. We pledge to uphold our town and village’s Inclusivity and Antiracism statements, and promote awareness. Our work is to educate ourselves and others about the impacts of racial inequality, power, privilege, and oppression in our community to continually seek justice, with the goal of cultivating equitable change in Johnson for generations to come.

The Racial Justice Committee meets the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m.

Sophia Berard, co-chair, Jeff Bickford, co-chair, Johna Keefe

Community Agreements

  • Inclusive decision making.
  • Honor another’s experience.
  • Strive for openness and honesty.
  • Assume good intent on the part of other participants.
  • Disagree! Listen to understand.
  • Embrace discomfort and vulnerability. Commit to learning and recalibrate as we learn.
  • Take ongoing action to unravel white supremacy culture* and other identity supremacy culture in our inner world and local community.

Work on racial justice and social equity often includes challenging discussions. If anyone present (voting or non-voting) feels a discussion or statement has strayed from the work of the committee, they can request a pause in the meeting to reflect on the following:

  1. Is the conversation productive to advancing the work of the committee?
  2. Is the communication respectful, and if not, what needs to change?
  3. Are we properly centering the discussion on the impacts of people affected by oppression/marginalization?
  4. Are we adequately considering impact vs. intent?
  5. If the conversation should continue in the committee setting- as opposed to a context outside of the committee setting- what structural meeting components could be put in place?

In all cases, the co-chair leading the agenda item in question will work alongside all voting and non-voting members in an effort to operate consistently within our values.

*White supremacy culture is the belief that white people are superior and the resulting systems meant to place white people predominantly in control of culture, politics, and economics. This belief is often, but not always, implicitly held as a result of social conditioning. The systems can be subtle but historically include actions such as voter suppression, housing discrimination, education funding discrimination, and the like.