Though many would like to pretend that racism is a relic of the past, recent events make clear that it is a very contemporary concern. As members of the Ossining Community Equity Task Force, we are particularly appalled at bias incidents exposing youth to racist hatred, such as the recent discovery of a hate symbol on one of our playgrounds and taunts from fans at sporting events. These incidents evoke a long history of resistance to school and community integration, and we are dismayed to conclude that today’s children are now just the latest generation that must struggle against the scourge of hate.

We applaud the steps taken by the Ossining Schools and the Ossining Police to investigate these incidents and support those who have been harmed. However, we cannot continue to address harms after they have occurred. These incidents underscore the need for proactive and sustained commitment to racial equity work, both in and outside of schools.

Our Community Equity Task Force invites you to join us in this work. For those who do not already know, this Task Force is composed of leaders from municipal government, the library, local schools, faith communities, student groups, and the community at large, and is intended to address issues of inequity that persist despite our best efforts. We want to continue to look at how we can better serve all residents, and ensure that our diverse community also enjoys equity, inclusion, and justice. To that end, we are planning a new series of events to spark shared learning and renewed action among the community and its leaders. To learn more and get involved, go to the Email Alerts signup page of the Town of Ossining website, enter your name and email address, and then click “Manage Subscriptions” to add yourself to the Community Equity Task Force list.