Panel of Greenfield speakers reunites for Sunderland talk on racism

  • Richard and Jeanne Hall of Greenfield ring the bell at All Souls Church in Greenfield in honor of Juneteenth last year. The Halls will share their experiences as people of color in Franklin County during the March 11 event, “Conversation About Racism: Staying Curious, Moving Forward and Being Part of the Solution.” Staff File Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Gloria Matlock, pictured at left, is one of the panelists in an upcoming talk on racism co-hosted by the Sunderland Public Library and the Sunderland Human Rights Task Force. Contributed photo

Staff Report
Published: 3/5/2021 2:22:50 PM

SUNDERLAND — The Sunderland Public Library is hosting a virtual program on March 11, at which three Greenfield residents will share their experiences of what it means to be Black in Franklin County.

The event, “Conversation About Racism: Staying Curious, Moving Forward and Being Part of the Solution,” brings together Gloria Matlock, and Jeanne and Richard Hall, and will be moderated by Dublin, N.H., resident Allen Davis, according to a press release from the library.

Davis describes the event — which is being co-sponsored by the Sunderland Human Rights Task Force — as a workshop to encourage discussion between Black and white people, and “to help us learn to appreciate and understand different experiences and perspectives.” He moderated the same panel in Deerfield on March 10, which was co-hosted by the Tilton Library and the Deerfield Inclusion Group.

He stated in the release that in 2021, with racism at the front and center of the news, “it is especially important to hear directly from some of our Black neighbors about what life in the valley has been like for them, especially since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May and, more recently, the violent assault by white supremacists on the (U.S.) Capitol Building.”

The Sunderland Public Library hosted a similar event in April 2019, during which Davis moderated a panel with three African Americans from New Hampshire, who shared with the audience their experiences living in a predominantly white community.

From that conversation in 2019 grew the Sunderland Human Rights Task Force, whose long-term goal is to establish a Human Rights Commission in Sunderland.

Davis said he hopes the upcoming discussion also prompts “concrete actions.”

“Our hope,” he said, “is that white people will take actions to create racial equality and justice locally, regionally and nationally, based on what they hear and learn from this conversation.”

To obtain the Zoom link to the event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, visit

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