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Local group takes pledge against hate to city council meeting



Recorder Staff
Sunday, February 25, 2018

GREENFIELD — A local chapter of a nationwide group that stands against hate is looking to have residents take a pledge against hate speech.

Not in Our Town-Greenfield has begun a dignity pledge campaign for the city, and they are asking for signatures from residents to show that they stand against hate speech. Emma Morgan and Holly Kosisky of NIOT approached city council with the pledge during their meeting Wednesday.

“Not In Our Town has launched this pledge campaign to raise the bar of civic discourse in Greenfield,” Morgan said to the city council Wednesday.

According to Morgan during the speech, the pledge’s aim is “to promote solidarity and mutual support, and to create a foundation for holding each other to a higher standard of community, peace and safety.”

Morgan and Kosisky gathered signatures for the pledge at the meeting Wednesday, which included the entirety of the city council on hand, Mayor William Martin and others in the room at the time.

“Free expression of ideas and divergent views is necessary, vital, even critical to a functioning democracy at every level of our society,” Morgan said during the meeting.

“But someone’s race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, native language or gender identity is not a point of view, but something inherent to a human being,” she also said.

Morgan said that with the addition of the signatures, the group is now over 170 who have taken the pledge.

“We hope to raise the standard of civil discourse and how we communicate with each other, at a time when people feel very free to speak in bigoted ways of people different than them,” Morgan said of the effort.

“It’s really important those marginalized, we stand with them,” she added.

The NIOT movement began in the 1990s in Billings, Mont., and is a “national movement to stop hate and bullying,” and is an anti-bigotry movement, Morgan said.

The Greenfield chapter includes an organizing council of 10 members that meets monthly. They have participated and organized several local events and have a mailing list close to 100 recipients.

For more information, the chapter has a Facebook page.

You can reach
Dan Desrochers at:

ddesrochers@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 257