NF DEI  (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Meeting

August 13, 2020

 

Present: Marion Bihari, Mike Bihari, Carol Chittenden, Marcia Easterling, Margaret Gifford, Susan Loucks, Mary Pat MacKenzie, Tom Sbarra. Not Present: Carol Casey, Nan Denton.

 

Special guests Janice Hank and Lois Hirshberg were not able to attend but will be to attend the next meeting on September 9.

 

Efforts will be made to reach out to communities of color and gay populations in order to share information about the services of Neighborhood Falmouth and to listen to any needs of elders in those communities. Ultimately, we hope to engage people from these communities as members, volunteers, and eventually as board members.

Margaret Gifford will reach out to Sue Wilson to make contacts in the gay community, Sue may also be able to direct us to the Cape Verdean community.

Mike suggested we speak with Rabbi Lieberman, and the No Place for Hate group, led by Rev. Nell Fields, Pamela Rothstein, and Rabbi Lieberman. Each is very involved in multiple communities in Falmouth, as well as their respective houses of worship - Susan will call

 

Mike urged us to reach out and listen. Our goal is to educate all people in the community, broaden the reach of our message, and listen to what the needs are.

 

Susan will reach out to NF member, Francine Reed, a member of the Wampanoag community to ask for ways we might share the message of Neighborhood Falmouth within her community.

 

Mike will speak to his friend in San Francisco who has been active in how to get services to elderly gay people.

 

Susan will reach out to Rev. Will Mebane at Saint Barnabas for advice in connecting with people of color. Perhaps Marcia can speak with the minister at the UU Church.

 

There was discussion about who is underserved in Falmouth and should we take this perspective as we do our outreach.

 

Do we know what the needs are of older people of color and gays? Mike: how do we find out what the need is? Discussion about outreach to organizations such as the Community Health Center, the VNA, Habitat for Humanity, as well as elderly housing sites like Falmouth Port, and Cape Cod Senior apartments.

Tom mentioned that the Portuguese community is separate from the Cape Verdean community, although we don’t have clear ways to reach those communities.

 

Carol will search up on the Barnstable County information to understand demographics.

 

Root issues may actually be housing and income for these populations, less about elder services like Neighborhood Falmouth.

Susan will speak with Karen Bissonnette about housing needs for these populations.

Next Meeting: September 9, 4pm, with guests Janice Hank and Lois Hirshberg.