Racial Equity Steering Committee


Michael Herbert introduced the Racial Equity Study Group during the Ashland Board of Selectmen Meeting on August 5th, 2020. "In light of the recent murder of George Floyd and the global response it generated, I felt it was more important than ever to understand the perceptions of the town by people of color and how we can do a better job of creating an inclusive community for all,” said Herbert.

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Michael Herbert, Town Manager
Jenn Ball, Assistant Town Manager
Makeda Keegan, Community Member
KG Narayana, Community Member
Rabbi Eric Gurvis, Community Member 

February 2022 Update

The Town Manager discussed the next steps at the Select Board meeting on February 16, 2022 (minute mark 0:79:09).  Suffolk University used its expertise following information in the Racial Equity Study to provide recommendations for the town to implement and begin a journey to create a more open and welcoming community. The questions that arose were how to take that data and information to implement an action plan. 

With this, we need more information to make specific recommendations. Town Manager, Michael Herbert, proposed establishing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force for the purpose of establishing policy recommendations for the Select Board to adopt. Some additional areas of focus are equity and land use decisions should be a focus, equity in our volunteer appointed boards and committees, and establishing a grievance process for complaints. These created policies will have clearly defined goals, objectives, and metrics to help the Town determine the progress made toward achievements.  

Based on conversations amongst the Racial Equity Steering Committee, this task force would include members of the Racial Equity Steering Committee, a person representing the youth of our community, non-governmental organizations- a member of the Ashland Residents for Equitable Action (AREA) and Ashland is United, a representative from the school and police departments at all times. Other Town Department employees would be brought into conversations as needed. 

January 2022 Update

We are so excited to announce, the final report from Suffolk University is now available. The Town Administration is proud to use this document as the foundation for future efforts. Over the past couple of years, we've established long-term and short-term goals based on the feedback. With this final report, we are committed to establishing a plan on this report's findings. 

"I want to reinforce that this study that you see, is not the final step, by any means. It’s actually just the first step and what we believe is going to be a long, but hopefully transformative process” - Michael Herbert, Town Manager

Read the complete final report here

September 2021 Update

Thank you for participating in a focus group or completing the survey distributed through our partners, Suffolk University. We appreciate you sharing your experiences and enhancing our community for all!

Stay tuned for more updates!