Black History Month Films

The Arlington Human Rights Commission is hosting a free film festival to celebrate Black History Month. The film will be Loving, and it will be screened at the Arlington Center for the Arts on Wednesday, February 12. The second, The Hate U Give, will be shown in the Community Room of the Robbins Library on February 19. The last film in the series will be Glory and will be shown at The Regent Theatre Arlington on Wednesday, February 26. All events are free and seating is limited at the ACA and Robbins Library.

The AHRC strives to ensure the fair and equal treatment for all people who live, work and pass through our community.

Support Safe Communities Act

Help protect our Immigrant and Refugee Neighbors – Support the Safe Communities Act at Hearing on Fri., Jan. 24 at the State House.

Please join Arlington Fights Racism , Arlington MA Diversity Task Group, and The Arlington Teosinte Sister City Project in supporting the Massachusetts Safe Communities Coalition to support The Safe Communities Act at the hearing at the Massachusetts State House.


  • 9 am, Rally on Massachusetts State House steps
  • 10 am, Hearing in the Gardner Auditorium

The Safe Communities Coalition is holding a media event at 9 am and then organizing shifts to keep the Gardner Auditorium packed all day. Anyone who wishes to testify may do so; the hearing will go on as long as it takes for all to speak. Even if you don’t testify, you can make an impact with your presence.

This will be the largest mobilization of the Human Rights and Social Justice community in Massachusetts to date in support of this vital legislation to protect the safety and security of the Immigrant, Refugee and Asylum-seeking community.

Get involved on January 24th:
1. Join other members of Arlington Fights Racism at these events. A group of us will leave together at 8:30AM from Alewife.
2. Rally with the Safe Communities Coalition at 9:00 am on the steps of the Massachusetts State House.
3. Attend the hearing for a two-hour shift. Sign up for your shift here.

If you can’t join us, submit a written testimony.

If you would like your testimony read by an Arlington Fights Racism member, please email us at

True Story Theatre 1/18

Event description:  Saturday, Jan. 18, 7:30 pm

We have a dream: what are our hopes and fears (for our community and for our country) in 2020?
In partnership with the Arlington Diversity Task Group.

Arlington Center for the Arts
20 Academy St, Arlington, 3rd fl
(Accessible entry on Maple St. Then take the elevator to 3rd floor)

Get discounted general admission tickets at
Tickets available at the door: $20-general, $30-Supporter, $5+ -pay-what-you-can

Unmarked Graves Project

Hi, I’m Maren, the DTG intern from Arlington High. I’m working on a culminating project for this internship which is focused on the unmarked graves in the Old Burying Ground in Arlington Center. These graves are the burial ground for some of the enslaved people who lived in Menotomy before the revolutionary war. I hope this project will bring awareness to Arlington’s history of slavery, as well as honor the memories of those who were buried without proper identification. This is a compilation of my work so far, and I will post updates as I continue to research.

Medford Students created this plaque to honor slaves buried in a mass unmarked grave in a local cemetery (

I am very inspired by this project led by Medford students. It is difficult to find the exact identities of those buried as slaves because society did not award them the same respect that was given to white people who passed away. Slave masters sometimes recorded the birth of slaves, but only because it was essentially as an addition to their possessions. It was uncommon for masters to keep detailed records of birth and death dates and burial locations. For this reason, a generalized plaque seems like a good way to honor those who we cannot precisely identify.

Historian Alex Green, left, and Gann Academy teacher Yoni Kadden point to a grave marker in Waltham's Metfern Cemetery. (Eve Zuckoff for WBUR)

An interesting collaboration between Waltham students and a local historian to uncover identities of mental hospital patients buried in Metfern Cemetery. A potential route for this project, if a local historian has the records to support such research.

Image result for old burying ground arlington ma
Arlington’s Old Burying Ground
  • Slaves in Menotomy 
    • Kate – Jason Russel House (no death date)
      • 2 unnamed children – died 1755 and 1767
    • Rose – Cutler Tavern (Died 1796)
      • Venus – born 1759
      • Prince – born 1762 (freed bc he fought as a soldier)
      • Ishmael – no date
      • Dinah – born 1756
      • Tobey – died 1774
    • Flora – Fowle/ Reed/ Wyman House on Old Mystic (no death date)
      • “What happened to her after 1789 is unknown. She gave birth to six children whose birth dates, but not their names nor the names of their fathers, were recorded in Rev. Cooke’s diary. First, a son on 4 Sept 1763, then a daughter born in June 1765, a child born in 1768, a child in 1770, a child born 3 Nov 1773 who died on 9 Nov 1773, and then another child born in 1779” (Douhan)
    • Pegg – Captain de Carteret (no death date)
      • “Slave Boy of Capt. de Carteret died on 12 April 1747 at six years of age. Slave Girl of Capt. de Carteret was born in July 1751.47 Slave Girl of Capt. de Carteret was born 15 August 1753. Slave Girl of Capt. de Carteret was born in 1754” (Douhan)
      • Cuff Cartwright – died 1826
  • Writings
    • No slave narratives have surfaced as of present day
    • Benjamin and William R. Cutter wrote History of the Town of Arlington in 1880.
      • “Some of the genealogical material in their book came from the ministerial journals and diaries of the Rev. Samuel Cooke and the Rev. Thaddeus Fiske. They also drew information from the Rev. Dr. Paige’s book History of Cambridge, 1630-1877 and from History of Charlestown by Thomas B. Wyman. Another source is Chas. S. Parker’s Town of Arlington – Past and Present 1637 – 1907. It is from these documents that we know about colonial-era Arlington.” (Douhan)

Aging in a Place Symposium: Update

This link will take you to a video of a four-hour aging in a place symposium that addresses many intersecting issues that concern planners, architects, policy makers, senior services and other groups. It is an excellent look at research studies, projects and challenges related to housing a growing senior population.

Major topic areas include Thinking and Doing Where Aging, Inequality, and Spatial Justice Meet; The Just City in the Aging Society: Identifying Values to Support Better Design; Ideals VS Reality; Aging Well in a Place: Bringing a Spatial Justice Lens to the Age-Friendly Movement; Aging Well in the City: Values Supporting Policy, Practice, and Public Life.
The brochure description produced by the Joint Center for Housing Studies Harvard University is quoted below.
“The United States is an aging society with growing economic inequality and socio-cultural diversity. Age-associated disadvantages, such as declining health, overlap with unequal access to healthy places, suitable housing, and other social determinants of health. These have in many cases affected people throughout life. As a result, there are vast differences in people’s experiences of late life. “Today, public discussion and policy focuses on “aging in place” as a way to improve quality of life and reduce costs. However, in part because of socioeconomic differences and structural inequalities, not all older adults can live in or move to age-supportive communities, neighborhoods, or homes that match their values and needs. Differences in access to places to age well can take the form of spatial inequalities, such as inadequate market rate housing for older adults on fixed incomes.
“Co-sponsored by The Hastings Center, the symposium will apply a spatial justice lens to this challenge, asking, who has access to age-friendly communities, accessible housing to prolong independence, and sufficient funds to cover housing and care? How can planners, policymakers, designers, and citizens make progress on social inequalities among older adults through planning and design? How can the fields of medicine, public health, and planning/design work together to effect change?”

“What is a Safe Community”? Learning Panel

Please join us THIS THURSDAY for a learning panel about what “Safe Community” legislation means and how advancing such a designation on the town-level could impact Winchester, based on towns who have successfully achieved this.
Confirmed panelists include Laura Rotolo, Staff Counsel and Community Advocate for the Massachusetts ACLU, and Todd Burger, co-chair of People Power Lexington, a grassroots group who advocated for the successful passage of Safe Community language in Lexington, MA.
As the rhetoric around immigration has intensified, the Supreme Court considers DACA legislation, and ICE continues to conduct raids, now is a critical time to examine the “Safe Communities Act” currently under consideration by the Massachusetts legislature. Come out to learn about what the Network’s Immigrant Justice Committee is doing to advance Safe Community legislation. 
Registration is recommended and can be done here.