Village launches new committee to focus on racial equity

McFarland High School student Laëtitia Hollard organized a Black Lives Matter gathering June 3 at Arnold Larson Park to push for an end to racism. Hollard is a co-founder of the MEP.

The McFarland Equity Project (MEP) has launched its new website, https://www.mcfarlandequityproject.org/.

The website, designed as a contribution to the MEP by BizzyBizzy, contains information about MEP activities and extensive local and national resources related to building a more diverse, inclusive and equitable community. The MEP is a grassroots racial justice organization that was developed in June 2020 out of the passion, courage and needs of students and others in our community. The project organizes the local McFarland community to make changes in the areas of community, education and the Village. The goal of the project is to address racial inequities, seek justice by promoting anti-racist policies and practices and create and maintain inclusive and welcoming environments in the Village of McFarland.

“Students of color have wanted to make changes to the school and the village for a long time. The isolation you feel as a student of color in McFarland is like no other,” said Laetitia Hollard, a McFarland High School senior and one of the founders of the MEP. “The Black Lives Matter [rally] gave us affirmation and enough power to boost the change that had already started, and make strong change. Many people ask me why I started doing this in McFarland, and I answer them that I had no choice. I could not sit idly by when I know other young students of color would go through the same experiences I went through in McFarland over and over again. I’m hopeful that the change we made in the last few months will stop this pain from continuing.”

Recent accomplishments of the MEP include the passage of resolutions by the McFarland School Districton June 15 and the McFarland Village Board on June 22 and Sept. 14 to advance racial diversity, equity, and inclusion in our schools and village. The most recent Village resolution included appointment of a nine-person diversity, equity and inclusion committee to be chaired by Patrick Miles.

The MEP has subcommittees related to Education, Village and the Community, and is supported by a backbone team. The next community meeting for the MEP is scheduled for Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. To get the link for that virtual meeting or to volunteer for one of the MEP committees, please visit https://www.mcfarlandequityproject.org/, click “Get involved” at the bottom of the page and fill out the volunteer contact and interest form. You can also email mcfarlandequityproject@gmail.com or visit the Facebook page: https://www.Facebook.com/groups/mcfarlandersforracialequalityandjustice

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